Nokia’s brutally honest assessment of its situation identifies what is not always obvious in the data center - it’s about an ecosystem. 

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In what was certainly a wake-up call for many, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop tells his organization its “platform is burning.”

In a leaked memo reprinted by Engadget and picked up by many others, Elop explained the analogy as well as why he believes Nokia is in trouble. Through careful analysis of its competitors and their successes, he finds the answer in the ecosystem its competitors have built -comprising developers, applications and more.

blockquote The battle of devices has now become a war of ecosystems, where ecosystems include not only the hardware and software of the device, but developers, applications, ecommerce, advertising, search, social applications, location-based services, unified communications and many other things. Our competitors aren’t taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem. This means we’re going to have to decide how we either build, catalyse or join an ecosystem.

If you’re wondering what this could possibility have to do with networking and application delivery, well, the analysis Elop provides regarding the successes of a mobile device vendor can be directly applied to the data center. The nature of data centers and networks is changing. It’s becoming more dynamic, more integrated, more dependent upon collaboration and connections between devices (components) that have traditionally stood alone on their own. But as data image center models evolve and morph and demands placed upon them increase the need for contextual awareness and collaboration and the ability to be both reactive and proactive in applying policies across a wide spectrum of data center concerns, success becomes as dependent on a components ability to support and be supported by an ecosystem. Not just the success of vendors, which was Elop’s focus, but success of data center architecture implementations. To counter the rising cost and complexity introduced by new computing and networking models requires automation, orchestration, and collaboration across data center components.

cloud computing and virtualization has turned the focus from technology focused components to process-oriented platforms. From individual point solutions to integrated, collaborative systems that encourage development and innovation as a means to address the challenges arising from extreme dynamism.

F5 Networks Wins VMware Global Technology Innovator Award

Charlie Cano accepts VMware's Technology Innovator Partner of the Year Award on behalf of F5 Yesterday we took home top honors for enhancing the value of VMware virtualization solutions for companies worldwide. At VMware Partner Exchange 2011, VMware’s annual worldwide partner event, F5 was recognized with VMware’s Technology Innovator Partner of the Year Award. Why is that important? Because it recognizes the significant value placed on building a platform and developing an ecosystem in which that platform can be leveraged to integrate and collaborate on solutions with partners and customers alike. And it is about an ecosystem; it is about collaborative solutions that address key data center challenges that may otherwise hinder the adoption of emerging technologies like cloud computing and virtualization.  

A robust and flexible application delivery platform provides not only the means by which data and traffic can be dynamically delivered and secured, but also the means through which a more comprehensive strategy to address operational challenges associated with increasingly dynamic data center architectures can be implemented. The collaboration between VMware and F5’s BIG-IP platforms is enabled through integration, through infrastructure 2.0 enabled systems that create an environment in which flexible architectures and dynamism can be managed efficiently. In 2010 alone, F5 and VMware collaborated on a number of solutions leveraging the versatile capabilities of F5’s BIG-IP product portfolio, including:

“Since joining VMware’s Technology Alliance Partner program in 2008, F5 has driven a number of integration and interoperability efforts aimed at enhancing the value of customers’ virtualization and cloud deployments,” said Jim Ritchings, VP of Business Development at F5. “We’re extremely proud of the industry-leading work accomplished with VMware in 2010, and we look forward to continued collaboration to deliver new innovations around server and desktop virtualization, cloud solutions, and more.”

It is just such collaboration that builds a robust ecosystem that is necessary to successfully move forward with dynamic data center models built upon virtualization and cloud computing principles. Without this type of collaboration, and the platforms that enable it, the efficiencies of private cloud computing and economy of scale of public cloud computing simply wouldn’t be possible. F5 has always been focused on delivering applications, and that has meant not just partnering extensively with application providers like Oracle and Microsoft and IBM, it has also meant partnering and collaborating with infrastructure providers like HP and Dell and VMware to create solutions that address the very real challenges associated with data center and traffic management.

Elop is exactly right when he points to ecosystems being the key to the future. In the case of network and application networking solutions that ecosystem is both about vendor relationships and partnerships as much as it is solutions that enable IT to better align with business and operational goals; to reduce the complexity introduced by increasingly dynamic operations.

VMware’s recognition of the value of that ecosystem, of the joint solutions designed and developed through partnerships, is great validation of the important role of the ecosystem in the successful implementation of emerging data center models.


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