To the cloud

The other day I was having lunch with a partner who had recently changed companies, and was interested in working more closely with HP. He posed a simple question that really made me think. “What has you excited, what are you interested in right now.” Not a typical question I get, especially from sales people, but the answer was simple. The cloud of course.

Cloud is a big buzz word, and we love to make jokes about it, and the fact that no one can really define it since we all have different definitions. I have posted on this before, but I think this is a topic worth developing.

One of my customers is very concerned with effeciency. I know dumb statement, everyone is concerned with effeciency, unless you work for the government… but seriously. So this customer is working on a hybrid cloud model for their internal customers, but the key to the whole thing working is not the cloud, but automation.

When I got started in IT, many years ago, we used to do everything manually. When someone needed a server, we would go through our procurement process to get the hardware. When the server arrived, we would rack it, install the OS, provision the networking, add storage, and then turn it over to the application owner to install their application.

When VMware went primetime a few years back, we were thrilled. The whole process was cut down since it could be templatized, but it still required IT intervention, the process was quicker, but still not much different.

So to the point, what is automation, and what has me excited in the IT world? What if we remove the requirement for IT intervention? What if application owners could provision their own servers via a simple interface or programmatically? Imagine what the IT resources could do, what they were freed up to do more productive tasks.

Now this is a high and mighty goal, and does require more work, but this is the utopia of the cloud we are all shooting for.

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To the cloud