The next logical stage in virtualisation is to have your
part or all of your IT infrastructure spread across the so called cloud and not
worry about where it's all based.
Here then, we look at the cloud in an holistic manner -
can it be closely defined or is it - as its name would suggest - too nebulous a
concept to pin down completely right now?
There's a lot of buzz surrounding 'the cloud' right now,
but what is it exactly? And what ISN'T it? Will it really change the way we
consume IT and the IT market landscape or is all that just so much hype?
Accordingly, how should organisations look at and approach Cloud Computing?
This piece will place virtualisation in the context of part of an ongoing
strategy rather than as an end in itself; as part of a longer-term plan / the
future of IT.
computing can be considered to have been brought about by the needs of the
business to de-skill IT and manage services rather than technology.
companies have cloud computing? For the most part, probably not. Maybe some
form of pan-geographic, highly available systems, but they’re not likely to own
a service on demand computing model, which will only charge them for what they
use. They have spend capital funding to acquire the infrastructure, and have
ongoing operating expenses to support them
is considered to be an outsourced compute resource on which an organisation may
scale in to and upwards depending on the needs of their business. It also is a
means for end users to leverage online services or tools such as e-mail,
applications such Google Doc and web services.
is becoming easier and less expensive for people/ companies to have a slice of
IT services without having to spend capital funds on deploying their own
infrastructure, and suffer the ongoing cost of support and maintenance. These
are now commonly referred to as the External Cloud.
does virtualisation fit in to this equation then? Well it is a service enable
for the Internal Cloud, much like any other tool is provides flexibility and
have had application virtualisation for a long time which has enabled internet
services to spread themselves across multiple computing resources, and let us
not forget the mainframe application virtualisation.
virtualisation products (VMware, Microsoft, Xen, Parallels, etc) have one
common goal, and that is to provide a unity of compute power to the end
service, across multiple physical assets, in a near transparent manor. They are
a key strategy in most organisations with many servers.
competitiveness from the virtualisation vendors is around performance
capability, functionality and holistic application support. Those who cover
these three key points will have a long term position in the virtualisation
market place and indeed the creation of cloud operating systems. Those that
consider themselves as anything else will have a shelf-life of a few years and
current vSphere offering, along with vStorage (V-MAX from EMC) and vNetwork
(Nexus 1000V from Cisco) all add up to a single solid offering to support the
next generation virtualised Data Centre, and enable Internal Cloud creation.
More importantly this alliance will offer a common interface to the External
Cloud suppliers, enabling companies to lease additional compute power seamlessly.
the end user becomes a larger factor in the requirement for cloud computing
services, then the notion of owning a desktop application or even a high
performing desktop/ laptop will subside, as more online services are created.
Online gaming, online applications, online banking…. These are all simple
precursors to the cloud and getting us, the end user, ready for change.