Contributed Article By David Greschler, Director, Virtualization and Cloud Strategy, Server and Tools Business at MicrosoftOriginal post from VMBlog.com
2010 was the year of the cloud. We saw some massive changes across the industry as IT decision makers and technology vendors wrestled with the shift to cloud computing. In particular, the industry had to grapple with many differing - and often conflicting - definitions of cloud computing. Certainly virtualization was often part of the discussion; however, 2010 brought a broader understanding that virtualization was no longer the end of the road, but instead a helpful stepping stone to the agile, responsive world of cloud computing.
With an understanding of the cloud possibilities established, I believe 2011 is the year that IT departments will really begin to develop their cloud plans for implementation. Gartner has estimated that worldwide cloud services revenue (including public and private services) will reach $148.8 billion in 2014.
As I see it, virtualization experts are poised to help their companies make that shift from virtualization to cloud computing and shape the cloud computing strategy that matches their needs. To that end, here are some specific things IT pros - especially virtualization experts - should consider when planning for their own careers and company cloud implementation in 2011 and beyond:
• Some like Aer Lingus, the European airline that developed an online trip-planning application, are using the Windows Azure platform to create and run applications that have more scalability and provide a better customer experience.
• Others, such as translation specialist Lionbridge, have deployed a private cloud solution using Hyper-V and System Center that enabled them to take their existing IT investments in virtualization to the next level.
The more robust cloud systems become, the more possible solutions - and therefore combinations of solutions - will be available to IT users.
• Engineering firm CH2M HILL estimates it will save $3 million over the next three to five years by virtualizing field servers.
• German household appliance manufacturer Miele & Cie has saved an estimated $1.8 million U.S. to date by migrating to a Microsoft solution based on Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter with Hyper-V technology - and with the Microsoft System Center data center products, got a single suite of server management tools that provides visibility into the physical server, the operating system, the hypervisor, and the applications layers.
Virtualization alone might save money, but ultimately IT staff will make decisions based on what they need to get the job done right - and in a number of instances, public clouds will be the best fit.
So what does all this mean for the IT professional? In the coming years, your job will change, possibly even more than it already has in 2010. You're still going to be worried about workloads and your employers will still look to you to keep things running. But the interesting, strategic and exciting part is that many of you will start thinking of yourselves as "cloud architects."
My wish - and I'll put this in the "optimistic prediction" category - is that 2011 will be the year IT pros take all the cloud talk from 2010 and create their own cloud plans: walking the cloud walk.
About the Author
David Greschler is director of virtualization and cloud strategy within Microsoft's Server and Tools Business. Greschler is focused on virtualization solutions and systems management tools for the desktop and datacenter.
Greschler came to Microsoft with the July 2006 acquisition of Softricity. Prior to joining Microsoft, Greschler was co-Founder of Softricity, developers of SoftGrid and the originator and leading vendor of the application virtualization industry. With more than 20 years of pioneering experience in the computer field, Greschler has held various positions at the MIT Media Lab and The Computer Museum, and holds numerous virtualization patents. Greschler holds a bachelor's degree from Brandeis University.
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