Q&A with 2012 VSM Prediction Madness Winner, Antonio Piraino - Page 2
These second order effects are: increased productivity, an element of commoditization of the underlying resources (and masking of the differences between vendors), the ease of creating backup and recovery plans and more tactically, the ease of duplicating or transferring instances between IT environments.
Despite its numerous benefits, cloud computing adds to the management headache by providing yet another environment in which data is going to be dispersed, and control of that data, or who accesses that data, can easily be inappropriately handled, especially when the decision is unilaterally made by “rogue” IT departments or not by the IT department at all.
VSM: How important are visibility and automation when managing virtualized environments?
AP: Most enterprises are continuing to invest heavily in virtualized infrastructure, but there is a new upward trajectory in spends from those same organizations in three core areas; namely: automation, orchestration and monitoring tools. Initially there is a lot of concern around security aspects of cloud computing, but once the migration has been made, the very next question I see over and over again from customers of cloud services providers is: “give me control over my cloud environment, and give me granular visibility into my datasets, my spends and how the machinery is working (from an efficiency and vulnerability to downtime perspective).”
“I’m losing control over all these instances and the associated tools proliferation, and it’s beginning to cost me far more than I predicted,” is a natural consequence of the incredible pace of deployment we’re seeing in virtualization and cloud computing – something akin to acute speed wobble, with no desire to slow down. This is where having visibility, and therefore the information and the ability to make smart decisions around my virtual environment are becoming critical necessities. However, in order to eliminate unnecessary repetition in decision making and procedures, having an element of automation in the process from the point of assets discovery through provisioning and de-provisioning based on a set of business rules and policies, is where the focus is going to be shifting to in the industry. In the cloud, the speed of on-ramping new “customers” is critical, but just as important is containing virtual sprawl or cloud sprawl.
VSM: Beyond management and automation – what other key considerations should IT managers look out for?
AP: We’re seeing that IT decision makers are no longer content with simply knowing the up and down nature of IT assets, but are more concerned with the vulnerability, the performance and the potential risks driven by any combination of factors influencing workloads. Having warning systems, and the ability to be proactive rather than reactive in IT management, should remain a core objective. This objective is however becoming increasingly difficult with legacy tools that were not designed for the speed and scale of virtualized and cloud environments. Similarly, while the world is watching the advent of instances being spun up globally, we are simultaneously seeing the explosion of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data in the business place. The storage, management and the manipulation of this data is going to be a core influencer of virtual infrastructure management going forward.