Tuesday, March 3, 2009

IT's Blind Spots in the data center

A few weeks ago I wrote about where IT Ops might be missing-the-boat regarding implicit assumptions we're making as an industry. I called these the "big blind spots". More from Egenera was published today in the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch website.

I arrived at these observations when I speak with data center managers who admit that they don't have solutions to these issues. When I tell them about Egenera, their eyes widen, and they go "you can do that?"

The net-net of these "blind spots" is:

1. Virtualization does not equal agility.
Sure, VMs get you part of the way, but what about agile infrastructure? This issue seems to have been overlooked. We still have to run-out to the floor to change NICs, switches, etc.
2. Virtualization does not equal simplification
In many ways, virtualization simplifies sofware. But we also fail to notice the complexity it creates for managing I/O, storage connectivity and other physical-world management issues.
3. Not all High Availability (HA) and Disaster Recovery (DR) is solved by VM technology.
Implicitly assumed in the market is that VMs are the panacea. But the reality is that not everything gets virtualized... therefore there are "siloed" needs for HA & DR
4. Provisioning is assumed only for software.
Everyone seems fixated on Provisioning = Software. But hardware, I/O, storage and network have to be provisioned too.
5. Not everything is, or will, be virtual.
c'mon folks. Depending on who you speak with, only 20%-25% of new servers are virtualized today. And many large data center operators admit that some servers will *never* be virtualized. So, what are we going to do about unifying P+V management?

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