IT Sprawl and the world of Converged Infrastructure

I have been hearing a lot of push and banter about the Cloud lately.  Especially about how it is going to force radical changes within the Enterprise IT space.  Gartner Research even went so far as to publish a list of 5 IT Imperatives that MUST be followed to prevent or stem the growing feeling of irrelevance that the protectors of Data are faced with.

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To start the day with reading the statement from GigaOM that Gartner is saying “Gartner to IT: Get a grip on cloud services, or else” was a bit of a shock to the system and may very well be more true in the very large enterprises but lets face it…those organizations are in the minority.  In looking to the 5 IT Imperatives (the bold statements are direct from Gartner’s Press Release, the commentary is a Krispyfication):

  • Formal Decision Frameworks Facilitate Cloud Investment Optimization – Ok I get this statement, and I would agree that there are a great deal of benefits to the Cloud, but every organization needs to look at the Investment not as a follow the herd but what is right and cost effective for their needs and their anticipated needs.  Walking before running becomes important.
  • Hybrid Cloud Computing Is an Imperative – The Hybrid Cloud will be a true game changer, the mixture between Public and Private Cloud will allow for a future of a Unified Cloud Computing Model but for now, the serving of two masters needs to be done…I agree with the Guys and Gals over at Gartner on this one…I also agree that the building of a solid set of standards and guidelines will allow for the rapid and continuous business innovation that the Cloud personifies.
  • Cloud Brokerage Will Facilitate Cloud Consumption – Gotta love Yet Another Three Letter Acronym…Cloud Services Brokerage (CSB), I am starting to see this more an more with my own contacts today as Consultants and MSPs are looking for a new costing model for their expertise…the problem is, even if they were in the space before…the Cloud Computing world is evolving so quickly…it is hard to keep up.  The Cloud Service Catalog will be the next item that will become ever more popular…imagine shopping for Web Services the same way we do grocery shopping today!
  • Cloud-Centric Design Becomes a Necessity – The age of platform lock in is becoming a thing of the past.  Built for the cloud should been that the Application is just as much at home running on a Mac, PC or Linux, can connect and provide insights to mobile devices like Smart Phones, Tablets and Ultrabooks.  But when it doesn’t matter what the “presentation platform” where does the support go to or come from???
  • Cloud Computing Influences Future Data Center and Operational Models – Planning for the integration of Cloud services into the future demands of the enterprise is a challenge.  There is no doubt that there are efficiency gains from moving to the Cloud but companies are still building Data Centers! 

While Prepping for this look at the most recent Gartner Soap Box Rant I took one of the statements made and did a quick check on it.  The concept of Converged Infrastructure more than just intrigues me.  Wikipedia gives us a pretty quick and dirty definition of this term:

Converged infrastructure packages multiple information technology (IT) components into a single, optimized computing solution. Components of a converged infrastructure solution include servers, data storage devices, networking equipment and software for IT infrastructure management, automation and orchestration.

The Data Center in a Box or pre-configured Rack has been something that has intrigued me for some time as it allows an IT Department to be “Cloud Ready” moments after plugging in the system.  The hardware is not a mismatch of Vendors, the software is optimized to communicate and function through out the overall stack but why has this not taken off?  That still baffles me more than just a little bit.

HP has embraced the concept and so has Sun/Oracle but I thought that I would give HP some props here as they seem to top the list on searches when it comes to the Converged Infrastructure term.

In recognizing the IT Sprawl that is occurring even in mid-sized IT Operations, the HP Converged Infrastructure solution combines the hardware with an integrated and unique approach to delivering services to the rest of the enterprise.  Looking to their unique HP Converged Infrastructure Reference Architecture there is a great list of integrated hardware and software solutions that allows for an IT Department to meet business needs, develop a stronger connection to the business and move closer to the opportunities and the future that Gartner calls the Hybrid Cloud.

The move that HP is making is fundamentally the same as an article that I read in an Oracle Magazine a couple of years ago that touted the grand design of the Oracle Exadata Database Machine and the integration and high throughput that this wonder of modern technology would enable business to achieve.  The funny thing is, this was a system built for Big Data, before Big Data was the “Buzz Word” it is today.

Well, my ramblings have continued on long enough…time to prepare for another day on the hunt and prowl…who among you will be available for a call?  I haven’t already talked to you shoot me an email krispy at london.com.  As a Sales Guy for a leading IT Research and Advisory Firm I would love to show you how we can assist in making your IT priorities come to life.

Cheers,

Chris J Powell

Posted on April 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

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