Changing Datacenters, Changing IT

I just finished giving a keynote talk at the Windows Connection conference here in Las Vegas (I’m writing this while waiting to board my plane back home).  My topic is one that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about – how datacenters going to change and what that means to IT Pros.  I’m passionate about the success of IT Pros and want to give them the tools they need to succeed.  In this case, the tool that they need to succeed is perspective.  The Readers Digest of my talk is:

  1. Datacenters are changing dramatically (largely due to virtualization and the cloud).
  2. Some will prosper.
  3. Others will not.
  4. Plan accordingly.

A good chunk of this talk deals with the topic of Clouds:

  • What are they?
  • Are they real?
  • Will they just go away if  we ignore them?
  • Do they mean the death of IT and local datacenters?

I didn’t know the answers to these questions a year ago when I started asking them but I’ve chewed on this a lot and come to some conclusions that I thought I would share.  I’ve read a lot about clouds from the pundits but honestly I haven’t gotten much out of most of that.  The one big exception to that is The Economics of the Cloud by Rolf Harms and Michael Yamartino which I consider a must-skim/must-read.  In general what you hear is a lot of absolutist ax-grinding from people with an agenda.  Let me clear, I have an agenda as well.  The difference is that my agenda is the success of IT Pros – that is what I care about.   Clearly I’m busting my butt trying to deliver the set of tools I think you need in order to succeed but I’ve always been super clear on this point: use my technology/don’t use my technology, all I care about is that you are doing what you need to do in order to succeed.

The short summary of my conclusions is that I’m very optimistic about IT pros as long as they understand the challenge and engage in the steps necessary to prosper.  But let’s be clear – change is required.  I’m less optimistic about people that are not interested or willing to invest in their careers and are unwilling to learn new skills.

The PPT version of my slides are available HERE.
A PDF version of my slides is available HERE.

I’d love to hear what you think of my analysis and conclusions.


5 thoughts on “Changing Datacenters, Changing IT

  1. Thanks for the information and insight. From my perspective there will continue to be a resistance to cloud technology by many companies.
    As for learning new skills, I think the bigger concern is opportunities. Despite learning and maintaining skills, the number of chances for the traditional IT professional will disappear.

  2. Do not forget about the firewall. Microsoft (your predecessors) have been notorious about turning the firewall into Swiss cheese.

  3. All good stuff, but here’s what I struggle with: How do you take SMB clients into the cloud while minimizing complexity? Case in point: Office 365 and on-premise identity integration/federation. I’m not going to deploy ADFS at a SMB client, but dammit end users shouldn’t have to manage two user accounts – one for the local network and one for Office 365.

  4. I just stumbled across this article and its funny reflecting 6 months on, with System Center 2012 round the corner and Azure, I truly believe cloud is unavoidable. It’s like an tidal wave and we can either grab a surf board and ride the wave or be swept away and left to drown.

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