I first may have to apologize to the cloud enthusiastic audience for choosing the word virtualization instead of cloud, but I thought that even if virtualization sounds less “catchy” that cloud, I thought it was more pertinent. Cloud eventually takes advantage of the new paradigm induced by virtualization.
Infrastructure-wise, the biggest change when virtualizing is monitoring : availability management is still essential despite the high-availability and high-resiliency of virtualized platforms but 2 new domains need more attention : performance management and capacity management ( both are actually intimately related to each other) and asset management (especially discovering CIs and their relationships but also managing CIs lifecycle). When adding reactive monitoring, proactive monitoring and asset management, the result is “awareness”.
Business-wise, virtualization enables several offers such IAAS, PAAS or SAAS and allows their combination to fit exactly the internal and external business customers requirements and also their budget. Furthermore, Infrastructure awareness allows the business customer to make informed decisions regarding their applications and facilitates their transition from one offer to another.
If we compare the old paradigm with the new, the shift is from entropy to awareness. How can we end with entropy ? I think that the entropy has been generated by silo-ing and opposing the technologies and the processes and it is time to merge them. Now with virtualized platforms, services can be delivered and relocated in seconds or in minutes. Nevertheless, on the field, it still takes quite some times for a request to be completed because at each step, there’s a spreadsheet… What ?? There is no service request management ??? Absolutely not, it is because there is no catalog of service… and no charge-back of course.
I won’t walk through all the examples we all share but long story short, we know the result : frustration, mistrust, waste, absurdity. Entropy does not generate benefits, it costs millions to one customer. It is definitely time to kick off a real shift in our organisations : providers, customers, outsourcers but customers need to educate and lead providers/suppliers. Think about a F1 : Business is your driver, the car is your infrastructure managed by your engineers and when you watch a F1 Grand Prix, everything seems easy and smooth. The apparent simplicity comes from the fact that the technology is invisible, it has beenabstracted by a perfect synergy between technologies and processes.
This is what we need to achieve in IT to succeed but success will come with an great driver, it is a necessary condition… but it is far from being sufficient. The success comes from a perfect interaction between each member of the customer equation (drivers and engineers) otherwise the problem will always be … the car (the suppliers).