When I was writing for Network Computing, we (and every other publication) would peer into the looking glass each year and try to see what the Data Center of the future looked like. It was always a fun exercise, trying to scrye out what would be.

DevCentral is really all about that future Data Center - or at least our little piece of it. We try to see what you need, why you need it, and envision a way we can help get you there.

Last week while we were all hanging out, we started talking about the future data center directly, and one thing rings clear to me. More power, more versatility, more robustness, less man-hours. It seems the song of the next three years is the song of the last ten - do more with less and have it perform better while maintaining ever-escalating levels of service. I don't go for the "we're in a recession" garbage spawned by the media, but because it is being spawned by the media, I do expect your budget will stagnate if not contract. Nothing like fear to feed itself, but the offshoot for purposes of this blog post is that you're likely to have a tight budget.

That puts the burden on vendors like us to help you ease the strain. What if your web applications were truly self-adjusting to volume? It's possible with the technology available today, to bring up new instances of a given application as traffic increases, and drop them or re-purpose the machine or VM when the traffic levels return to normal for that application. It's possible to optimize routes and traffic on the fly to maximize use of most organization's bottleneck - the Internet connection(s).

So why aren't we all "just doing that"? Well today it takes work on your part, and not an inconsequential amount of work. Over the next few years, those companies that are wise to your actual needs and the ever-expanding complexity of your network and the SOA apps that run on it will start to handle this type of optimization for you. I won't claim we will be your panacea, but we'll definitely be helping you to solve the pressing problems of more work and less time. After all, it's part of what we do.

Keep an eye on DevCentral for some glimpses through the looking glass in the next six months or so. We're just in the planning stages of starting to show you how we can help at an even higher level than today, but we are starting to move in that direction.

Our hope is that the net result will be increased productivity and less lost sleep for you. And your boss, whether he's pointy-haired or not.


/imbibing: Mountain Dew

/reading: NUTS!, by Two Hour Wargames, and Service Oriented Modeling by Michael Bell