When cloud burst upon the scene, we were treated to wild-eyed prognosticators telling us about the death of the traditional data center. This is a trend in IT that you would think we’d learn from, but we repeat every couple of years. 4GLs, no, XML, no…Were all going to end development, and yet here we are, with more lines of code and more programming languages in use. It just keeps happening.
These all share two common failings. First, technology in use today may not be perfect, but it is getting the job done, so dumping it for the new silver bullet is an unlikely result either in the long or the short term. For example, we’re many iterations beyond the conception of the C programming language, and yet for some purposes it is still going strong–because it does the job.
But that’s a little tangential to today’s discussion. Today, the other failing is where I’d like to focus. The E-Factor.
Enterprises are a lot of things, but one of the things the successful ones are not is careless. Cloud use in the enterprise was always going to be both multi-cloud and hybrid. Why? Multi-cloud because sole supplier arrangements are riddled with possible issues, and hybrid because every enterprise has something they want to maintain sole control of or something that simply can’t be moved but they want to push toward newer environments.
We were always going to have multiple choices, and successful enterprises were always going to use multiple of them. Containers facilitate this truth a lot. The ability to run containers pretty much anywhere makes them portable, as long as staff is familiar with the infrastructure of a given environment so they can support the container management system in that environment. But even without containers, a cloud portability solution was inevitable.
There is a massive amount of automation going into IT right now, all for the good. Freeing up traditionally scarce IT hours to focus on more and better services is all to the positive. Inevitably, one or more of these automation tools will be hailed as “The End of X.” Ignore them, and keep rocking at your job. AIOps seems most likely to gather this type of following right now. It will offer a flood of new data and consolidated views of that data, but not much else in the near term. Even when decisions start to be automated, full-on automation based upon AIOps feedback still needs code to run against and infrastructure to run on, so no doom and gloom there.
Apply the E-Factor to anything hailed as a silver bullet. If you’ve worked in the enterprise, you know there are so many variables in the datacenter that any silver bullet would have to be a splintering round, each splinter behaving in a completely different manner to address current IT needs. More options are always good, and I, for one, go after new tech because I’m non-stop curious. But it is indeed just more options for your IT needs. Use the ones that will help, ditch the ones that make things worse and ignore the cheering “This time we mean it!” crowd.