The Dark Ages gave way to the Renaissance as the Medici family and others were able to sufficiently consolidate resources to support the arts. The merchants and bankers created an abundance of financial resources where none had existed for a long time. People were able to spend their energy in new ways, giving rise to new expectations of intellectual thought.
Our IT industry has also moved from resource scarcity to resource abundance. The continued improvement of processing and storage densities has fueled the explosive growth in virtualization technologies. Processor virtualization burns CPU cycles and memory to increase overall system utilization. Most don’t notice this trade-off because more, cheaper resources are readily available. The leap to virtualization enabled the programmatic controls necessary for automation. Automation in turn has fueled the growth of large-scale public infrastructure and software as-a-service clouds. Users expect these public clouds will provide them instant access and perceived infinite resources for their future needs.
This abundance has raised expectations of what is possible so these users now have the same expectations of enterprise IT organizations. They reason that these organizations should benefit from the same explosive growth in processing and storage densities. And, since IT organizations have access to the same technologies from multiple providers, users expect them to provide the same capabilities. Why haven’t they?
Enterprise IT organizations benefit from resource abundance, are adopting virtualization, and are raising their utilization rates. However, they have not created the same instant access and perceived infinite resources that users now expect. Virtualization and its follow-on, automation, demand extensive changes in how enterprise IT shops operate. They seldom appreciate the impact that virtualization and automation will have on their organization, operational processes, management tools and decision making. As examples, the instantiation of a virtual machine differs greatly from the acquisition and installation of a physical server. And, the automation of an application’s deployment on a virtual machine requires programmers in operations. These are just a tip of pending changes.
At Unisys, we create clouds, operate clouds, and help enterprises plan their clouds. We use this knowledge and experience to help customers who are seeking to create their own private cloud since they are often overwhelmed by the complexity and the addition of another paradigm to their already full docket. Unisys Isaac Levy’s 4-part blog posts on Preparing for Your Private Cloud outline many of the considerations to help IT organizations that are struggling with these new concepts and how to best implement them.
One thing we know is that abundance creates opportunity. What abundance did in Tuscany during the 14th century is happening to enterprise IT. A renaissance is coming.