John Suit, CTO, Fortisphere, recently let me know his projections of the key trends we'll see unfold in 2010. I'm not sure that everyone is as tuned into management issues as is John, but his views are certainly interesting.
Here's what John Suit of Fortisphere has to say
Everyone talks about the move to cloud computing, and have for years. In fact, in 2009 Virtual Administrators realized that in order to get to the cloud, they needed to first establish a level of service for their application owners and then fully understand and monitor the components of that service, in a way that directly translates to the cloud. They also began to realize that if they had any hope at all of migrating to the cloud, they must first get their houses in order.
The tolerance for a lack of real management solutions in Virtualization is over.
In 2010, Service Management will be the key to taking virtualization to the next level. Service Management will emerge as a key to help IT organizations gain a complete understanding of the services they provide, what the components of the service group are comprised of, and the dependencies and relationships that must be maintained to provide the required level of service. IT Directors will seek out solutions that can be used to easily migrate their service groups within their infrastructure and will be able to facilitate a transition to the cloud.
In 2010, multi-platform management will be critical. Some vendors understand that dependencies are important, but they too often develop solutions that require dependency of specific frameworks. A solution that only understands VMware or only Hyper-V is going to have a hard time providing any real information about a specific Service Group in the cloud, when those framework specific interfaces are no longer available. Organizations will begin to see that dependency mapping is not enough; they must also have the communication relationships of those infrastructure components as well as monitored state that is based on thresholds that are acceptable to the IT administrator and the Application Owners.
Snapshot analysisIt appears that comprehensive management and security are always areas that are given little thought by many organizations. Since John is focused on management issues, so will I.
The focus of most organizations, it appears is more tactical in nature. That is, they focus on managing specific applications and application components and don't always rise above to consider managing their whole, multi-platform, multi-workload, multi-vendor environment. Maybe that is because a comprehensive management architecture is very hard to implement. So, they purchase point solutions that will deal with the issues of one platform or one workload and don't go on to find a set of tools that will allow everything to be managed from a single console.
Suppliers of virtualization technology contribute to this. They'll offer a product that can deal with the needs of X86 systems running their products and call it a "datacenter management" product. They know that most organizations of any size have mainframes, midrange systems running UNIX or some single-vendor operating system, industry standard systems running some combination of Windows, UNIX, Linux and, yes, NetWare living in the datacenter. They also have intelligent storage systems, networking gear and, possibility intelligent coffee makers.
Since these suppliers don't have products to address such a diverse set of needs, they just ignore them in their public statements (maybe hoping that they'll die of neglect.) Instead, they wave their arms and claim to be able to manage the datacenter.
Although it would be very nice if 2010 was the year that organizations elevated their viewpoint to look across the whole datacenter, or perhaps, across multiple datacenters and think about management and security, it is rather unlikely that this will happen. Only a very few suppliers offer tools that offer such a breadth and depth of capabilities. The rest aren't likely to call attention to the shortcomings of their own products.