Cloud: Professional Data Center Group Says Get On With It - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Cloud
Commentary
8/25/2010
02:46 PM
Charles Babcock
Charles Babcock
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Cloud: Professional Data Center Group Says Get On With It

Two years ago it would have been impossible for a professional manager's association to produce a position paper, Guiding Data Centers to Cloud Computing. The "cloud" was still being disparaged in too many quarters. Now it's become respectable. I miss the days when the topic was more disputable and, in some quarters, disreputable.

Two years ago it would have been impossible for a professional manager's association to produce a position paper, Guiding Data Centers to Cloud Computing. The "cloud" was still being disparaged in too many quarters. Now it's become respectable. I miss the days when the topic was more disputable and, in some quarters, disreputable.Now Guiding Data Centers to Cloud Computing is a $175 report from the Data Center Institute, which represents the thought leadership of AFCOM, the 30-year-old organization formerly known as the Association for Computer Operations Managers. The institute unveiled the findings in the paper Aug. 23 for its 4,500 members and the cloud will be one of the topics aired at its upcoming show, Data Center World 2010, Oct. 3-6 in Las Vegas.

For all that, the cloud remains a loosely defined term, or rather a form of computing with too many NIST definitions. That's because it sums up a set of innovations and possibilities that sit atop the new layer of virtualization in the data center. The cloud is as much about a change in style of managing computing resources and a new model of distribution as it is about technology itself.

At the moment, a defining characteristic is that it is characteristically offered through a self-service format. In the future, it may be offered through broad sets of automated services, where the user doesn't literally order up a server but a complete software stack based on how interactive he wishes to be with his computing source. In its extreme, the cloud will allow some users to modify an application to suit their needs or create an application, then run it on a high performance cluster.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The data center manager of today needs a way to map his existing infrastructure onto a more cloud-like set of operations. This is infinitely more easily said than done, given the resistance of mainframe, aging proprietary and Unix systems to entering the world of the x86 instruction set.

The AFCOM position paper guides this process in somewhat general terms, sketching out how to formulate a logical position on the desired cloud-type resources, then how to translate that position into physical data center resources. That still leaves a lot of work to be done by the systems architect, the network manager, the chief security officer and the operations manager.

But AFCOM is saying that work will soon become necessary. Don't listen to the cloud critics. They will impede your movement to a desirable and ultimately necessary new architecture.



Now that server virtualization is widespread, can we leverage it to make true business continuity a reality--or at least make recovering from disaster faster and less expensive? Download our report here (registration required).

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
What Becomes of CFOs During Digital Transformation?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/4/2020
News
Fighting the Coronavirus with Analytics and GIS
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/3/2020
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Job Skills in High Demand This Year
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  2/3/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Video
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll