Making sense of hypes “du Jour” – Virtualization, Grid and Cloud Computing – Part 3 of 3

This is the 3rd and final part of a 3 part series exploring Virtualization, Grids and cloud computing and the exponential value obtained by integrating these to realize enterprise objectives.

The links to earlier parts are:

Part 1 - Virtualization

Part 2 - Grids and Cloud computing

Here is the video for Part 3

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The video for the sake of brevity does not explore the range of potential synergies that are possible but motivate a few. Some other points to consider:

  • One of the key aspects of the synergy of these paradigms that I have not touched on is "Private" or "On Premise" cloud where the IT environment can be implemented as a cloud but within the confines of the enterprise "firewall" - currently there is a lot of discussion in the media on this topic. This is the next frontier of cloud that will get the CIO jazzed. Grids and virtualization will play a very important role in the implementation of these "private clouds". The primary difference between IT today and the "Private Cloud" paradigm is that the "cloud" paradigm requires a layer (a virtualization if you will) between the user and the "traditional" resources that users have direct access to in today's IT. Separating the concerns in this manner (i.e. with the layer) improves the consistency/reliability of the services that users need and use while allowing IT to make changes to the infrastructure without the user noticing the changes. The resulting infrastructure opacity (to the user) now allows IT to manage both workloads and resources proactively where they previously only had management control over resources. This layer is a win-win if IT can now manage the "opaque infrastructure" in a way that the user has the desired elasticity, performance and reliability - it is in this management that Grids and Virtualization will play a key role.

  • The synergy of these 3 paradigms now allow the merging of "use" and "management" into a single framework where till now they were treated as separate disciplines. This merging now makes "IT agility" a reality where "proactivty" is as much a part of "agility" as "reactivity". Driving "agility" as a "proactive excercise" will also lead to improved TCO over that delivered by a "reactive excercise".

  • The biggest challenge is whether IT can change it's models, processes and mindframe to really recognize and leverage the value that is placed before them - furthermore IT can not be a mere deployer of solutions but has now to get into the business of design, development and integration to a degree that they have not done or been comfortable with.

I hope you found this series interesting and found some things to ponder. I would like to hear your thoughts - would also be very interested to hear other examples of folks bringing these paradigms together.