Holistically the datacenter has never so healthy; there’s a myriad of technology providers training their teams to deliver the best of the best Value Added Services around the datacenter acquisitions to meet today’s most demanding requirements.
While the datacenter is certainly better served than ever, it is often so tragic to witness how many times the true conversation to have which drives what so many are focussed on is left aside.
Today we will cover at high level where the gap is creating created, how it is created and what should we do to address it. The next posts will individually address the pillars of IT, both technically and business wise, and demonstrate how they have been able, individually to be focussed to service the EUC.
Surely this is the easiest conversation we’ve ever had; first we are far more informed than ever, thank’s to the IoT we globally have a far much easier access to the information (while I understand this often creates a lot of FUD, you may admit it is far better than it was no?). The Datacenter as never been so well supported by leading manufacturers and it allowed us to be in a good position to tailor IT to the business needs and intelligently discuss the most crucial part of an infrastructure, clearly articulated and in a very structured manner. Thank you for Tiering, Volume Pools, Network Raid, ASICs, iSCSI 10GB and true vNIC, we have all the required weapons to drive the largest evolution the datacenter has ever seen in 10 years: servicing applications.
The DataCenter 3 pillars have been shaken in the last 6-7 years; first, on the “datacenter operating system” side a.k.a VMware & Hyper-V, we have broke down the silos of IT by enabling a true virtualized datacenter. Providing IT with the agility it needed, we have defined the new way IT is been looked by the LOBs and how the various players of IT were interacting and working together. Platforms, Storage, backups and SAN: All for One and One for All!!
Second, we have witnessed the largest enhancement shift the technologies supporting this virtualization alignment have ever gone through. The goal was to seduce the Tier1 apps, and to attract this important piece of the equation into the redefined datacenter, virtual DataCenters needed to be well supported and surrounded by data agility and management: OK that’s done. The leading vendors in data management have redefined the way data is been looked at and how the data needs to be individually addressed at block level. Well done!
Finally, the compute power has never been so attractive. Yes, I hear you, we’ve often looked at it in a very simplistic manner where it only computes the outcome. Well, if you really dig into it, you’re able to realize that CPU have the power to drive multiple workload in parallel, RAM is closer than ever from the “brain” and buses are operating at almost light speed while accepting cache PCI cards to drive a better than ever application performances. Among all differentiators, the fact that we can add compute power to an existing infrastructure, and get it up and running without having to unlock days and days of planing is truly how new platform leaders are taking over the platform market. Let’s not talk about the cabling. From the rack mount to the blade world, there’s fewer players that are truly unlocking and redefining the platform business. Yes, you can be a Network leader and redefine a world of platform opportunities.
The End User Computing and its growing needs
All of these enhancements are great, don’t get me wrong, and as we are discussing with our various customers, we are able to understand deeper the business requirements and have a large scale of opportunities to unlock the most demanding requirements from the largest applications. Think about it: are you concerned by moving SAP into a Software Defined DataCenter? If you are, drop me a note, we’ll have a revealing conversation.
But where is the EUC conversation? Where is the Application conversation? Where is the mobility discussion?
That we have a strong array, a fast connection, a reliable platform and a SDDC strategy, where is our focus on end users?? I believe there is a tremendous opportunity in driving that conversation and a huge potential in enabling our users communities with what they need: their applications, portable, accessible any time, anywhere from any device. Only few are leading in that space, and while they remain strongly positioned in the application world and how the applications are accessible to the consumers, this aspect needs a constant adjustment as the world evolve and the need raise.
When is the last time you’ve thought about this angle? We’ve had the tendency of considering this angle outside of a datacenter conversation but the world has changed my friends and so are the needs and users. We surely understand that budgets are more and more unlocked from the LOBs and are no longer managed by IT, but what are we really doing for them? Are fast disks speaking to the LOBs? No!
The IoT and Big Data are both huge contributors to the growth and technologies shifts we are seeing in the industry. All manufacturers are all hands on deck to keep up with the growing demand and the growing needs from the creators of all the digital contents driving the DataCenter alignment; true, we’re always in a position where we need to structure the where we start and we’ll be going, agreed. Agreed that the DataCenter needs to be supporting the demand; Agreed that the demand needs to be supported by a reliable infrastructure, but don’t you think these two conversations, the DataCenter and the EUC need to happen at the same time, in a very elegant parallel way?
We have been stuck in a circular discussion where, while the help is all around, the outcome is often lightly felt by the real consumers, and if we’re not attentive, this aspect will shortly be over our head and, despite our efforts and financial enablements in the datacenter, we will be back to square one: the enduser community will suffer performance, lack results and ultimately be unproductive.
Who is truly driving the needs?
If you think this is not relevant: beware! The next generation of workers coming onboard is more interested by their happiness and how they feel at work than the “gears” available to them, therefore our efforts WILL be vain. We are seeing it every day without noticing the true impact of such requirement. And we are all at fault here. We all want our content available anywhere, any time at our finger tips, very fast and in a very immediate way. We, as consumers of the technology, are driving the DataCenter conversation, but from an application perspective, and HERE LAYS THE NEXT WAVE THAT WILL BE HITTING US STRONG AND HARD.
In a service oriented world, the source providing the outcome is irrelevant as long as performance and ease of use is at the rendezvous. Are we seriously considering where the data produced resides versus how fast and efficiently we have access to it at our finger tips?
We, as individual contributors, are far more concerned by accessing what we want when we want it than anything else. IT should be following! What a major shift in the way IT is been looked at.
The biggest technology providers are (or have) realized it and are trying to turn their boat around. Microsoft is the perfect example. Have you ever thought about seeing Microsoft aligning with the end user trend?
Although the world is mainly driven by the Microsoft Office suite, the new appointed CEO, Satya Nadella, has made a strong statement: we need to be where the clients are! And we’re all aware how much Office was MIA in the mobile world.
Isn’t this a strong message sent to all of us? Isn’t this a huge shift in philosophy?
We should ALL be taking this message seriously and while focussing on the main 3 pillars of the datacenter, the application world remains one that can make a giant shift from a datacenter centric approach to a larger community such as the enduser community.
Now that is a STRONG message my friends. The pure example that as a group of consumers we can change the world, and the application will be the next big wave hitting the data centre with the strength of the largest power on earth: the people!
Watch for the Part2 where I will be covering the “Virtualization Pillar” of the datacenter and how its change has impacted the delivery of applications to the endusers.
The DataCenter Operating System Pillar
Part2 (coming April 5th 2014)
The Storage Pillar
Part3 (coming April 12th 2014)
The Platform Pillar
Part4 (coming April 19th 2014)
The EUC Pillar
Part5 (coming April 26th 2014)