One of the truisms of promoting new technologies is that the market never forms as fast as you expect. Spending sixteen hours a day, seven days a week working on steeped in the nuances of your technology, it can be frustrating trying to breakthrough the FUD accumulated in consumers minds by years working with the status quo. So, when you start to see that people get it, the moment is really gratifying.
One such moment was finding an article on ZDnet about Accenture Technology Labs’ assesment that utility computing is a green technology:
“Industrial-scale computing facilities can be located so as to optimize across land costs, power costs, bandwidth costs and power reliability . . . This can result in significant savings and is not an option most enterprises have available to them. “
The use of virtualization to enable utility computing has become pretty well accepted over the past year. So much so, that it’s almost comical to think of some of the responses we got three years ago when we started 3tera and were touring VCs and potential partners with our Powerpoint slides.
Unfortunately, some folks take the idea too literally and believe that virtualization and a SAN is all that’s required. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. AppLogic has been in production for 18 months and EC2 for twelve, so we now have data about what services are required for utility computing.
Peter and I just finished an article for fishtrain that discusses how virtualization fits into utility computing and what additional services are required. Hopefully it’ll stir a little bit of discussion.
Yesterday 3tera announced alpha availability of a new concept in data center operations, Dynamic Appliances. Unlike traditional data center management systems that require months to deploy and staffs of system administrators to maintain, Dynamic Appliances allow you to easily embed data center operations directly into your applications, where the decision rules for operation are simplest to define and maintain.
So, what is a dynamic appliance? Simply put, a dynamic appliance is a packaged data center operation like backup, or migration that operate within your application. They work by leveraging AppLogic’s ability to package distributed applications into manageable entities. For instance, instead of containing large amounts of code to monitor application performance, the SLA dynamic appliance taps into AppLogic’s monitoring system to make operational decisions. Likewise, to effect change on the application, the dynamic appliance simply issues commands to AppLogic.
IMHO this breaks the last binding between an application and the data center. AppLogic users have been able to migrate entire applications, complete with data and infrastructure, between data centers for almost a year. Now, the application can take it’s operational definition with it as well.
A couple years ago Vlad Miloushev and I started talking about the fact that the future of IT was being decided not in Enterprise IT, as it had been for decades, but on the Internet. To be honest, most folks didn’t get it, especially vendors. Enterprises spent the most money, and that earns you a lot of attention.
Last week while clicking through links on blog posts, though, I ran across a post from Robin Harris that’ a few months old, on Google’s rules for building data centers. The quote is his, and I couldn’t have said it better. It’s well worth a read.