"As virtualization deployments become more pervasive and IT complexity continues to increase, the burden of monitoring and management must shift away from people and manual processes and into automated analytical systems."
That's Brian Lett, Senior Product Marketing Manager for IT Management Software at EMC Corp., laying out what he believes is the next direction for IT management software in EMC's IT Management 2.0 blog this week. Lett (and indeed the whole blog) is out to promote EMC's Ionix software, but this statement raises an interesting point about management solutions in general: automation is coming in a big way to monitoring and management tools.
Zenoss has pretty much figured this out, which is why they partnered with Puppet Labs last month to deliver automated data center and cloud infrastructure management. But it's nice to be appreciated.
Speaking of appreciation, a very important date is coming up: Sysadmin Appreciation Day is happening on July 30, 2010.
This is the eleventh annual day of gratitude for the unsung heroes of the server room, who do so much behind the scenes to bring you, well, everything on your screen: "So if you can read this, thank your sysadmin--and know he or she is only one of dozens or possibly hundreds whose work brings you the email from your aunt on the West Coast, the instant message from your son at college, the free phone call from the friend in Australia, and this webpage."
Given that July 30 is a Friday, be sure to celebrate (responsibly) and make sure your sysadmins know how much you appreciate their efforts.
One thing that sysadmins are doing more of lately is interacting with developers to get application deployments and operations running smoothly. DevOps is the name of this IT management mash-up, and it's gaining increased attention as management solutions become more complex.
At OpsCamp San Francisco, there was an informal panel discussion that started the event. dev2ops has posted video of the panel, that covered topics "from 'DevOps,' to 'repository and dependency management,' to 'security is not compliance,' to 'managing multiple data centers,' and to a variety of other topics in the span of 24 minutes."
It's a nice session to watch, with a clear slice at what's important in IT management today.
Meanwhile, back in the clouds, James Staten has posted a sharp analysis of cloud computing and just exactly what it is--and isn't.
Staten sees a lot of confusion in how cloud computing is perceived. IT managers seem to be hastily judging it, but then try to mimic it.
"Many IT ops pros see the cloud as competition and quickly race to its flaws, declaring it unsafe and immature while they scheme for how to duplicate its benefits--rapid provisioning, shared infrastructure--within their own data center. Others quickly conclude that it is nothing more than virtualization and thus relabel their VMware environment “private cloud," Staten writes.
In an effort to clear the confusion, Staten lays out three differentiators cloud computing has that separates it from traditional IT: standardized IT capability, metered consumption, and self-service deployment.
That middle property could be one that hangs some people up, since equating cloud computing with utility computing is not something that always applies anymore.
Communications of the ACM has posted a very detailed examination of the cloud computing and utility computing models that's definitely worth a read and offers a counterpoint to Staten's statements.