11 Years is a long time in the IT industry – practically the equivalent of a geological age. In that time storage, servers and software have come a long way.  Server virtualization has moved from a handy development tool to a pervasive technology found in just about every enterprise –powering all kinds of mission critical applications. Moore’s law has delivered us smartphones that have more compute power than was needed to land on the moon  and the ability to tweet as we did it.

And yet it has been 11 years since I heard Scott McNealy* talk about the “big friggin’ WebTone Switch” and how our applications would all be delivered from a flexible service-on-demand platform (running Sun SolarisTM obviously).

Which brings me to VMworld 2012. I’ve just spent a couple of hours wandering around the Solutions Exchange Hall (be sure to drop in to F5 Stand 1101 for erudite conversation and squishy balls, plush the chance to win stuff) like an overstimulated toddler in a candy store. I’ve been   constantly distracted by the next tasty looking treat (I’ve just read that back and realized how it sounds but I do mean the technology - honestly). Servers, storage, flash memory, backup software, management systems, I/O cards, services, consulting, outsourcing, user groups, thin clients, faster, better, more…

11 years. We should have done all this by now and be onto the Next Big Thing.

So why has IT only part delivered on the cloud vision? What have been the barriers to organizations adopting public or private cloud technologies on a wider scale? Why do I feel that we are on a tipping point of adoption of “cloud” IT services Right Now? (Sorry had to get that tag line in). I think it boils down to a few, if broad, key areas:-

  • Orchestration (current state of)
  • Standardization (as above)
  • Security (perception or reality?)

I’m hoping that the sessions I attend this week and the conversations I have – along with the oh-so-carefully-timed announcements from F5 and our industry partners will back up my optimism.  I’m looking forward to sharing them with you.

Feel free to drop by the F5 stand to share your thoughts on this. I’ll be the one lying on the floor, kicking my legs and screaming as the sugar rush wears off.

*I’m sure there were other earlier visionaries but, hey, I lead a sheltered life