What will your role be in the Cloud?: Virtual Insanity

Chris Everette, a Contributor to Virtual Insanity posted his thoughts on Cloud Computing and what it means to IT.  Read it here.

This past evening, I had an email conversation with a former colleague who is on the development side of Cloud Computing.  Morgan Catlin, Vice President of IT for Valtira, and I discussed how Cloud Computing is changing our relationship between Development and Administration.

By chance, I just re-read Jason Boche’s thoughts on Cloud Camp Minneapolis that day, which happened to be organized by EnStratus’ George Reese, a co-founder of Valtira.  Some of the comments on virtualization and Cloud Computing, in Jason’s blog post, got my wheels spinning even more.

Some of the major points I took away from all these different perspectives and points:

  • Virtualization is much more than a simple brick in the wall of Cloud Computing, however the abstraction of the hardware, software, networks, storage, Administrators that make Virtualization possible and therefore the Cloud allows us to easily downgrade it’s importance in this process.
  • Cloud Computing and Virtualization is rapidly evolving beyond Hypervisors and Infrastructure as a Service (Buzzwords) into APIs, Automation, and even Platform as a Service (More Buzzwords).  I admittedly still live and think in a IaaS world, and need to begin to think toward PaaS.  This again will dramatically change how Administrators think of Virtual Infrastructure, and manage it.  Not necessarily a bad thing, just different.
  • Cloud Computing is changing the way both Administrators and Developers view and rely upon each other.  Scale Out vs Scale Up is a great example, Developers can hit application or server bottlenecks and without any Administrator interaction simply continue to Scale Out their application.  Old days of buying upgrades to Scale Up existing equipment is non-existent to Developers and should be.  This resource management is now left solely to Administrators to handle on the Infrastructure side without any Developer interaction.  I believe this work will continue to wane as Hypervisors evolve, see the next point.
  • Administrators will have a change in function and thought coming, there will still be Infrastructure work to be done but as Hypervisors become smarter, more redundant and less interactive we will see a change.  Specifically, hardware will be managed more from an aggregate pool perspective, throw disks and CPUs into the pool and the Hypervisor will determine where and how to best use these new resources for you.
  • VMware and Microsoft appear to be the leaders emerging in this market beyond Virtualization; as Big Iron has collapsed, and Xen appears to be floundering.  With this increased competition beginning to focus less on what the Hypervisor does and how it does it, and instead on application support and functionality outside of the Hypervisor.  See VMware’s acquisition of SpringSource, and Microsoft’s Azure.  They appear to be aligning themselves for a whole new fight.

As the Virtualization and Cloud Computing market continues to heat up, and sides are chosen between VMware and Microsoft we will see very interesting developments.  How it will be divided is far beyond my limited insight, but know it is coming.

*Edit* Serves me right for slacking, no sooner than I finally post this and catch up on my Tweets, I find another great article from Massimo of IT 2.0 on this very topic!  Read it here, great article.

*Edit* Adding another recent blog post on this topic from Bernd of VirtualizationPracticeRead it here.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.