Speculative thoughts on 2014 – Cloud, Hyperconvergence & Me…

Its been a while since my last post and I’ve been keeping tabs on all the IT Tech news, blogs,  and the local VMUGs that have past including the UK National Conference which was very well attended and had some excellent presentations by Jason Langone, Joe Baguely and Brian Gammage to name a few. The recent Danish VMUG was very good by all accounts and some very good presentations including an interesting one from LEGO on moving from 1 datacenter to another. But enough of news – let’s focus on the headline.

So what will 2014 be the year for ?Everything this year has talked about cloud and where companies can see a right fit to consume resources in the cloud and what motivates a company to consider cloud computing. Vmware are really counting on the Vcloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) as a launchpad to offer the whole software defined datacenter in a bundle and this may well drive some revenue in 2014. I see the likes of Openstack, AWS and Azure still taking up a large market share in 2014 with AWS being a mature delivery platform and see that companies, especially of the Enterprise nature, will be looking at consuming cloud for backups/DR and also for archive data that is no longer required in the datacenter.

Most companies will have to gradually increase cloud resources to prove out key areas with the business being IT data security, performance or plain and simple reassurance of geographical placement of key data due to legal obligations. Lets not forget that most International companies stretch many borders and the knowledge of where their data is will be a key component to adopting ‘the cloud’.

Cloud isn’t just a buzz word that people should be talking about and taking no action on. Business strategies should be defining where CAPEX savings should be made and where they can move these to OPEX costs by integrating cloud with their existing IT datacenters. The hype this year has been very much on the IAAS, PASS and SAAS offerings and we know that a lot of companies have established great platforms to deliver solutions to an increasingly mobile population. With DAAS (Desktop-As-A-Service) being the newest kid on the block and companies looking at savings from desktop solutions, I can see that a few people may well be dipping their toe in the water in trying out this service from Amazon or Vmware.

Hyperconverged solutions have also been a big player this year and my favourites, such as Nutanix, Simplivity and Pivot3, have all had impressive growth and will continue to do throughout 2014 as many adopt a wide range of virtual solutions and platforms in order to bring about simplicity in the datacenter. With the uptake in SSDs and Flash, these well established game changer will be looking at niche areas in which to grow their customer base and it will be all about who can develop the best software algorithms and code to deliver commodity hardware to the datacenter.

Personally, I’m looking forward to learning more about cloud solutions and how they can benefit both customers and businesses alike. The fact that is takes 11.7 seconds to deploy a single VM on AWS speaks volumes about where IT admins should be focusing their brainpower and Automation is key to harnessing a more productive workforce. I hope that all IT admins are considering Automation and Orchestration as their number 1 goals for 2014 and will stretch their imagination, as I will be doing, to see that workloads can be created and destroyed at will and there should be no reasons why provisioning a 3 tier app or a single server should take more than half a day.

If I can do one thing next year, it will be to increase my understanding of Vmware vCAC, Puppet, Chef and similar tools to drive productivity in the workplace and ensure that automation is the no.1 goal to achieving a datacenter where admins can concentrate on business projects and not worry about the menial tasks of provisioning. Oh and 1 other thing – I will also be seeking to present at a local VMUG and make a difference to the virtualisation community so watch this space…

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