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Silos Belong on the Farm

April 24, 2008
at 12:00 pm PST

Another vendor reportedly made the following statement:”We should leave [virtualization] control to the server guy and leave the network to the networking guy. That’s an easier approach to swallow.” I found this to be a curious statement and somewhat ironic, considering it was a networking vendor who said this.I think it is clear that virtualization cannot continue to be a silo-ed activity if it going to make the transition from tactic to strategy. For example, if you are going to use VM portability as part of you strategy for things like DR/DC, power and cooling management or SLA compliance, you are going to have to do it in an orchestrated manner in coordination with the other teams in the data center if you are going to be successful. And, if you want to be able to do this in anything close to real time, you are also going a management framework to support this. In short, virtualization is everyone’s job.Which, leads me to the other point this statement brings out: the need to re-think the IT organization. I believe that the IT infrastructure and the IT organization need to be mirrors of each other. I don’t think you can successfully transform your data center while clinging to existing notions of organizational structure (i.e. network gal, server guy). Some of our more forward thinking customers have seen good results by integrating into”critical teams” that span technologies. I think this is a best practice that would benefit many of our customers. We have actually been spending some cycles on the organizational impacts of Data Center 3.0, so look for more info on this in the coming months.

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