Automating components is easy. It’s automating processes that’s hard.

The premise that if you don’t have an infrastructure comprised solely of Infrastructure 2.0 components then you cannot realize an automated, on-demand data center is, in fact, wrong. While the capabilities of modern hardware that come with Infrastructure 2.0 such as a standards-based API able to be leveraged by automation systems certainly makes the task all the more simple, it is not the only way that components can be automated. In fact, “legacy” infrastructure has been automated for years using other mechanisms that can certainly be incorporated into the dynamic data center model.

When it’s time to upgrade or purchase new solutions, those components enabled with standards-based APIs should certainly be considered before those without, but there’s no reason that a hybrid data center replete with both legacy and dynamic infrastructure components cannot be automated in such a way as to form the basis for a “private cloud.” The thought that you must have a homogeneous infrastructure is not only unrealistic it’s also indicative of a too-narrow focus on the individual components rather than systems – and processes - that make up data center operations.

In “The Case Against Private Clouds” Bernard Golden blames the inability to automate legacy infrastructure for a yet-to-occur failure in private cloud implementation:

The key to automating the bottom half of the chart -- the infrastructure portion -- is to use equipment that can be configured remotely with automated measures. In other words, the equipment must be capable of exposing an API that an automated configuration system can interact with. This kind of functionality is the hallmark of up-to-date equipment. Unfortunately, most