Sunday, December 6, 2009

IT evaporation: cloud computing and how it will affect corporate IT strategies.

Thinking about corporate IT evolution, it is a quite established trend now to have virtualized servers. Virtual servers are independent from their storage, and can be easily imaged and disaster recovered.

Current corporate networking now decouples server address space from client address space, and this means that servers can be easily relocated elsewhere.

Soon huge virtual server farms will be created. Customers will be allowed to move there their virtual servers, and have them managed by remote datacenter operators. These datacenters will be connected with very high performance links to the corporate headquarters and to the places where corporate employees are.
What is currently blocking this is the lacking of sophisticated features for managing really huge virtual server farms keeping logical groups of servers separated from each other, so to allow effective multi-customer management. Also sophisticated billing features are lacking.
These missing features will emerge, and then customers will relinquish their servers making them virtual and letting them evaporate in the clouds.

The datacenters will be huge, google like, modular, container based. Many of them will be built in cold places, so to save cooling energy expenses. Some design are to be built underwater.

And after this, as soon as broadband access will grow of at least an order of magnitude, when we will have really easily available gigabit wan links, it will be the client turn, to evaporate.

People will then easily be allowed to work from home, accessing remotely the corporate desktop and applications, thru suitable encrypted links.
Corporate desktop computer will dissolve and evaporate, becoming simple remote access terminal. Many applications will be accessed from mobile devices too.

Then it will be our turn, to evaporate...

Marco ( @mgua on twitter )


Anonymous said...

I know it's not the point of your post that I'm addressing here, but I'm sure we'll have to wait at least one generation until the work-clients evaporate and the corporate world accepts the idea of working from home. Not because of technology - technology will be way ahead of this by then - but because of working customs. People are used to, and many even rely on the stimulating environment of a workplace. At home, there are too many distractions, and thus efficiency may drop. Companies are afraid of this today.

Marco Guardigli said...

It largely depend on the context. In many cases this "client side" virtualization is already happening.
Help Desk operators
Sales operators
Logistic people

Even at the workplace the distractions occasions are huge, and the employer can legally do almost nothing to prevent this from happening.

I am currently working on a project in which engineering workstations (clients) are working from India on desktop applications provided by a datacenter in Europe.

When you will be accessing your computer features from your cellphone, this will also be Client side Evaporation.