December 3, 2008

    The second day of the Gartner Data Center Conference has been informative. Besides the sessions, I have had some wonderful networking sessions. It appears that capacity planning/capacity management is becoming much more of a hot topic these days.

    Not only is Gartner seeing more inquiries, many of the people I have spoken with in different IT operational areas are talking about the necessity of doing more formal capacity planning work. They all agree that the days of throwing hardware at capacity problems are behind us. Instead of over provisioning and continual firefighting efforts, we need to do a better job of planning for the future and spending more time tuning applications and services.

    It is very satisfying to see that more and more people are beginning to see the value of the work we evangelize in TeamQuest IT Service Optimization.

    Disruption in the Data Center

    In the first keynote, Gartner analyst Carl Claunch discussed the "Top 10 Disruptive Technologies Affecting the Data Center." They are in no particular order, according to Carl.

    • Virtualization in storage
    • Cloud computing
    • Servers: Beyond the blade
    • PC virtualization
    • Enterprise Mash-ups
    • Specialized systems
    • Social Software and networking
    • Unified communications
    • Value of pods and zones
    • Green IT

     Additional Highlights from Claunch

    Carl gave us a lot of information, covering all the considerations, both pluses and minuses. I'll cover a few items just to keep things brief. Gartner sees blade servers morphing into computing fabric where memory, I/O and processor are not restricted for use by a particular motherboard and can be redeployed at will. He states that the problem with blades is that when you outgrow one, that particular piece of technology is useless to you, becoming orphaned. You paid for the capacity and processing capabilities but can no longer take advantage of them. By taking technology to the next step by building computing fabrics, you have the ability to redeploy the component parts dynamically so that you continue to gain value from the asset.

    Carl discussed enterprise mash-ups, pointing out how valuable they can be to organizations. A common deployment that we see frequently is linking an internet application to one of the mapping services to help your customers find their way to your place of business. Carl points out that this technology can be important in quickly building robust applications for use internally or externally. It can also help you attract and retain the new generation of digital workers. The challenge will be in managing the technology. Pieces of the application come from a variety or web sites which are outside your control so monitoring and measuring service performance becomes much more critical — and complex.

    My last comment for this entry is about Don McMillan, an ex IEEE engineer and now a renown comedian. He gave the second keynote of the day. If you get the chance to see him, I highly recommend it. He had most of the crowd in tears. I can't remember the last time I laughed so much. 

    More to come.