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Thoughts from 2010 Gartner Data Center Conference (Part 2)

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Hello all – hope you’re having a good Saturday / Sunday wherever you might be.

Wanted to finish putting down thoughts, insights, etc from my time at the Gartner Data Center conference this past week.  (You can read Part 1 here –  https://jbgeorge.net/2010/12/11/thoughts-from-2010-gartner-data-center-conference-part-1/.)

  • We need to understand the success / real world utilization of ITIL and other benchmark frameworks – are they working?
  • More and more, in the era of cloud, we are finding it is no longer necessary to keep an individual system up at all costs, as long as overall compute and storage integrity are maintained
  • Traditional management models assume that systems should be managed so that failure should rarely happen. Newer models assume that failure WILL happen, and focus on shortest MTTR (mean time to recovery / repair).
  • Traditional models try to implement pervasive automation, whereas newer models focus on selective automation.  Why must we automate / virtualize / etc everything?  Choose wisely based on criticality and true need.
  • We’ve heard of JEOS – the “just enough” operating system.  Gartner spoke of “just enough” practice vs “best” practice.   Are we at the era of “just enough?”
  • Again, reiteration of the need of DevOps skillset.
  • Organizational alignment is still a key facet of moving the IT organization.
  • “We are only at the end of the beginning” of the cloud era.  Watch for Cloud 2.0 in the years ahead (market based computing, hybrid clouds the norm, etc)
  • Still a lot of talk about the Big Four (HP, CA, IBM, BMC) – they were slow to jump on w virtualization, but more aggressive with cloud.
  • Definite focus on the network being a key management focal point.  Similar to the theory that your band’s ripping concert is only as good as the quality of your sound man.
  • The recession will be viewed in hindsight as a pivot event for the server market – paradigm shifts, vendor repositioning, etc.
  • Some important trends to watch going forward: big data, unified communication, client virtualization, compute density / scaling vertically, converged fabrics

Another great event – look forward to next year. 

Until next time,

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge

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Thoughts from 2010 Gartner Data Center Conference (Part 1)

December 11, 2010 1 comment

This week, I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 Gartner Data Center conference – got to see a lot of old friends, meet new friends, and learn a lot about what Gartner sees coming down the road. 

This year's Gartner Data Center Conference was held at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV

It was also a chance to talk to a number of folks about what’s happening at their own data centers, what they’re looking to solve, and what they’d like to see start happening in the industry.

Here are some key nuggets I walked away with – I’ll post again tomorrow with the rest:

  • When it comes to implementing cloud, we cannot allow “20th century industrial models to sap 21st century innovation.” 
  • There’s still not a good answer for failure remediation in the cloud – credit due to downtime is just not good enough.
  • Expect the community cloud concept to continue to draw interest.  (Community clouds are clouds that service specific areas like banking or healthcare, where compliance, etc would be a requirement for its customers.)
  • The next big business opportunity could be cloud brokers as the new systems integrators
  • Great quote from Phil Dawson regarding due diligence before virtualizating anything – “Don’t virtualize rubbish – otherwise you have virtual rubbish.”
  • We often forget that virtualization is more than just servers and storage – there are apps, desktops, etc
  • Client virtualization / VDI is still top of a number of minds, though many are still at the investigative stage.  There are still lingering questions about user adoption, bandwidth / network constraints, and ROI.  (Though I am a big believer.)
  • When we build staffs, we should strive for them to be “T-shaped” – technically deep in few areas, but linkages to the broader business.
  • It’s important to run IT as a business – remember that it is providing something of value that its customer is willing to pay for
  • Some good discussion on IT chargeback and allocation, which many are not doing today, but forsee implementing in the future.  Four required characteristics of IT chargeback: simplicity, fairness, predictability, and control.

Also got a walkthrough of the IBM containerized data center, as well as SGI’s container – both very cool.  (No pun intended.)  I’ve now had the pleasure to see the modular / container data centers from  HP, Dell, IBM, and SGI first hand.

Some interesting stats and statistical predictions from Gartner:

  • 2/3 of the live audience was polled said they will be pursuing a private cloud strategy by 2014
  • What’s the top concern regarding cloud computing?  Security and privacy are still at the top.
  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world.  Twitter – the 7th. (Wow.)
  • There has been more video uploaded to YouTube in the last 2 months than if ABC, NBC, and CBS had been airing content 24/7/365 continuously since 1948.  (WOW.)
  • Data centers can consume 40x – 100x  more energy than the offices they support.
  • An 8,000 square foot datacenter could cost $1.6M per year for just power.
  • Data centers will be significantly smaller in the next 5 – 10 years
  • Data expected to grow 800% over the next 5 years, and 80% of it will likely be unstructured.
  • Today’s labor force will have 10 – 14 jobs by age 38

As you can tell, just a lot of good discussion on cloud, data centers, power, and overall IT.

OK, don’t want to overload more than I have – will back tomorrow night.

(UPDATE: Click here for Part 2.)

Until next time.

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge