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Data Center and Cloud

As a resident of Austin TX, I got to experience a record setting heat spell and drought this summer. Not to mention, some of the worst forest fires which are yet to be contained.  I was fortunate to escape the heat in the last week of August and attend VMWorld 2011.

One of the themes at the conference was Desktop Virtualization -- desktop access through a range of devices and access to cloud-based virtual machines. This is a timely issue in light of the June Cisco Visual Networking Index report which predicted that there will be twice as many networked devices as people on earth by 2015. With the proliferation of devices such as the iPhone and iPad, it is not inconceivable that workers will use the same devices in the office as well as home.

Another theme at the conference was management of servers and desktops including provisioning, ongoing maintenance and automation to meet service level agreements.  VMWare’s CTO in his keynote also mentioned that some of their biggest investments are around operations management of the virtualized environment.

Not surprisingly, another theme at the conference was Cloud Computing.  Whether virtualization is required for Cloud Computing can be a topic for heated debate.  Although virtualization is not an integral part of the NIST definition of Cloud Computing, the resource-pooling characteristic of Cloud Services is enabled by virtualization.

These themes prompted me to revisit a study by Forrester Research Cisco sponsored on the basics of management for Cloud Computing.  Although it was aimed at Cloud Management, the basic steps and concepts should be valid for any data center on a journey towards a dynamic, connected world.  The paper is titled “Elements of Cloud Service Orchestration”. A closer look under the hood is warranted even though the term “Service Orchestration” has taken a life of its own, with Wikipedia calling it a buzzword.  A webcast on the top is also available. What do you think service orchestration means in the context of data center management? I am very interested in your feedback.

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