2011 Prediction: eG Innovations
Management Technologies will play a Central Role in Fulfilling the Promise of Cloud Computing and Virtualization Technologies
Virtualization and cloud computing have garnered a lot of attention recently. While virtualization has been successfully used for server applications, its usage for desktops is still in its early stages. Cloud computing is being tested for different enterprise applications, but has yet to gain complete acceptance in the enterprise. 2011 will be the year that these technologies become mainstream.
A key factor determining the success of these technologies will be the total cost of ownership (TCO). The lower the TCO, the greater the chance of adoption. By proactively alerting administrators to problems, pointing to bottleneck areas and suggesting means of optimizing the infrastructure, management technologies will play a central role in ensuring that these technologies are successful. With this in mind, I make the following predictions for 2011:
Virtualization Will Go Mainstream in Production Environments
Very few organizations will not have at least one virtualized server hosting VMs. Enterprises will focus on getting the maximum out of their existing investments and will look to increase the VM density – i.e., the number of VMs for each physical server. In order to do so, administrators will need to understand the workload on each VM and which workloads are complementary (e.g., memory intensive vs. CPU intensive), so IT can use a mix and match of VMs with different workloads to maximize usage of the physical servers. Management tools will provide the metrics that will form the basis for such optimizations.
Multiple Virtualization Platforms in an Organization Will Become a Reality
Over the last year, different vendors have come up with virtualization platforms that offer lower cost alternatives to the market leader, VMware. Expect enterprises to use a mix of virtualization technologies; the most critical applications being hosted on virtualization platforms with the best reliability and scalability, while less critical applications may be hosted on lower-cost platforms. Enterprises will look for management tools that can support all of these virtualization platforms from a single console.
Enterprises Will Realize that They Cannot Effectively Manage Virtual Environments as Silos
As key applications move to virtual infrastructures, enterprises will realize that mis-configuration or problems in the virtual infrastructure can also affect the performance of business services running throughout the infrastructure. Further, because virtual machines share the common resources of the physical server, a single malfunctioning virtual machine (or application) can impact the performance seen by all the other virtual machines (and the applications running on them). If virtualization is managed as an independent silo, enterprise service desks will have no visibility into issues in the virtual infrastructure and, as a result, could end up spending endless hours troubleshooting a problem that was caused at the virtualization tier. Enterprise service desks will need management systems that can correlate the performance of business services with that of the virtual infrastructure and help them quickly translate a service performance problem into an actionable event at the operational layer.