When you are having fun, you don’t realize how fast time passes by. This has never been truer than for the eight years I have spent at VMware. On the personal side, I have gained two children, changed couple of houses, lost 20 kg and found a new passion for running. On the professional side, I’ve changed roles, from a pre-sales system engineer of the “Virtualization 1.0 Era” to an architect of “What’s Next.”
VMware acknowledges every four years of service with an award. When I celebrated four years, the award was a VASA sculpture comprising these three cubes, recalling the old-style VMware logo:
VMware 4 Years Award
(To read more about the VASA sculptures and how Diane Green got the idea, click here.)
At eight years, it was a brand new kind of VASA sculpture. There are no cubes anymore, but the design still recalls them in colors and shapes taken from different perspectives. Moreover, the small squares inside the sculpture are actually eight, like the number of years of the award. An incrementally evolved idea, isn’t it? After all, that’s the essence of VMware.
VMware Eight Years Award: I was so pleased!
Then: the Virtualization 1.0 Era and the “Compute Plant”
Of course, more has changed over the past eight years at VMware than just the awards. Eight years ago—in the “Virtualization 1.0 Era”—one of the biggest customer challenges was data center resource optimization and cost savings in the face of an increasing number of separated components needed for evolved applications architecture (i.e. Service Oriented Architecture) and x86 power unrelentingly following the Moore’s law.
VMware, with x86 virtualization, began to solve the problem by decoupling the hardware from the operating system and applications in a simple and disruptive approach that promised to deliver immense benefits.
Historical picture from 2007 EMEA TSX
There were three basic ways customers approached virtualization at this time, which led to vastly different outcomes:
– Reluctant to change: These customers were informed on new IT trends but, not considering virtualization a serious alternative for production environment, they continued to allocate dedicated hardware for each new project, with IT budget demands increasing year-over-year without real business benefits.
– Taking a tactical approach: These customers invested in virtualization using a project-specific approach to virtual infrastructure, creating different non-standardized silos with sprawling of virtual machines.
– Making strategic moves to a shared virtual infrastructure: These customers took a big-picture view, aggregating budgets from multiple projects to build a shared virtual infrastructure that allowed easy redistribution of compute resources while maintaining high levels of governance, increasing availability and agility, and lowering costs.
2008 Customer Virtualization adoption strategies
Over the years, VMware introduced new approaches to managing virtual infrastructure, transforming it into a “Compute Plant” where customers could dynamically manage resources. This introduced agility, automation and governance.
Figure 5 2008 VMware Historical picture: vSphere as a “Compute Plan”
Now: Transforming the Ways IT Provides Services
Now, in the mobile/cloud era, VMware has continued to be the catalyst for the evolution of IT, building disruptive advantages for managing, automating and orchestrating computing, networking, storage and security. This has transformed IT into a provider of services that can be delivered on-premise, off-premise and in a hybrid combination of the two.
VMware vRealize Suite
What about customer approaches of today? IT goals haven’t changed much over the years, and neither have the three types of organizational approaches to new technologies:
– Reactive – With IT exhausting resources to maintain existing systems, they’re challenged to support future business results. The need for rapid innovation has driven users outside of traditional IT channels. As a result, cloud has entered the business opportunistically, threatening to create silos of activities that cannot satisfy mandates for security, risk management and compliance.
– Proactive – IT has moved to embrace cloud as a model for achieving innovation through increased efficiency, reliability and agility. Shifts in processes and organizational responsibilities attempt to bring structure to cloud decisions and directions. More importantly, IT has embraced a new role: that of a service broker. IT is now able to leverage external providers to deliver rapid innovation within the governance structure of IT, balancing costs, risks and services levels.
– Innovative – IT has fully implemented cloud computing as the model for producing and consuming computing, shifting legacy systems to a more flexible infrastructure. They’ve invested in automation and policy-based management for greater efficiency and reliability, enabling a broad range of stakeholders to consume IT services via self-service. They’ve also detailed measurement capabilities that quantify the financial impact of sourcing decisions, allowing them to redirect resources and drive new services and capabilities that advance business goals.
Moving Beyond a Reactive State of IT
At every stage of the virtualization evolution, there have been strategic, early adopters and those who take a “wait and see” attitude. But as workloads and end-users become more demanding, even the most reticent IT departments will need to shift away from a reactive environment, taking steps to redefine the way that it operates and the technology it leverages for its foundation. I believe in the near future enterprise customers to move beyond a “reactive state” will have to:
- Continue to invest in private cloud to build the foundation for an efficient, agile, reliable infrastructure
- Identify processes that can be automated, Involving our technology consulting services to create, expand or optimize their environments while gaining hands-on knowledge for their teams
- Establish a self-service environment to deliver IT services to stakeholders on-demand across every Business Units.
- Begin to identify the true costs of IT services.
- Embrace third-party providers as a source of innovation.
Get ready for more bumps and fun
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” C. Darwin
Evolution of any kind doesn’t happen without bumps and fun. We live and work in a constantly changing landscape, and with VMware we have opportunities every day to influence and be part of the exciting changes that are taking place today and shaping the IT of tomorrow.
Which is what makes it all so fascinating.
See more at: http://www.vmware.com/products/vrealize-business/
Andrea Siviero is an eight-year veteran of VMware and a senior solutions architect member of Professional Services Engineering (PSE) for the Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC), a part of the Global Technical Solutions (GTS) team. Prior to PSE, Andrea spent three years as pre-sales system engineer and three years as a post-sales consultant architect for cloud computing and desktop virtualization solutions focusing on very large and complex deployments, especially for service providers in the finance and telco sectors.