The current battlefield in the cloud technology war seems to be the orchestration layer! For the EMC family VMware purchased DynamicOps mid last year and EMC sneaked in the purchase of iWave late in 2012.
I met with the head of the leading EMC partner in this area, Infront who see a great deal of customers battling to make the transition into IT as a Service. I get back to the office and knock into a pack of consultants out here from our Cloud Services consulting group on a 10 week assignment helping a major outsourcer develop this layer.
What’s the issue? Well it seems far harder than first expected to create the fully automated, self-service IT infrastructure. Some of you will say that is rubbish there are catalogue and self-service products out there, but that just tells me you have never run an IT operation. To deliver the end-to-end service reliably and to meet the SLA’s for each application consistently.. is not just a layer which enables click and provision! Never-mind how you move your organisation into this model, people skills, organisational structures, financial transparency, costing and billing… to name a few other little issues.
What’s the answer.. I have no magic bullet idea here! Sorry, probably just hard yakka for the software developers, the education specialist and a boat load of money for the consultants!
However, in my cynical way I wonder if the talk about ‘The Software Defined Datacentre’ is allied to this challenge. After all if we have logical control over hardware resources the same as we have over software resources the end-to-end orchestration of the environment does become more achievable. Just remember that the conductor is there to ensure that all musicians do what they need to as well as when they need to do it, however the magic only happens when everything works together in exactly the right way!