New Year ramblings….

This started as a post on the last day of 2013, but now it has turned into my first post of 2014. Most people make New Years resolutions or predictions, I am going to try and make some predictions but I will try and stay away from resolutions! All I will say is this, I would like to end 2014 with more knowledge than I started it. I am looking to start a masters this year and my wife is just finishing hers, so hopefully this should not be a problem.

For those of us in the summer side, it is heating up gradually and I think it will be a record breaking summer this year, we have already had a couple of very hot days and it is only the start of summer. Last year I managed to extend my technical certifications to include a number of the VMware certifications including VCAP-DCA5 and VCAP-DCD5. In June, I received notification that I had been awarded vExpert status by VMware for my contribution to the VMware community, which is fantastic. I have been lucky enough to be in a position where I have been involved in a number of large enterprise deployments in Australia and I was lucky enough to receive this nomination!

Enough about me though. Lets look at the technical stand outs for the year. VMware made a major move to drive the software defined data center strategy. The two areas covered were in Storage and Networking. Although these releases happened towards the end of the year, they are going to prove so important and they stole really important ground on Microsoft in the Cloud Services area. Microsoft released Windows 2012 R2, which in itself was an important release of its Hyper visor. Whilst I am a pro-VMware person, I recognise healthy competition in the market is a good thing. Where does that leave us with hardware?

The push towards software will leave us in a middle ground for the time being, hardware has been built for specific requirements until now, a physical server, a physical switch, a physical storage device. This has helped to separate the operational support teams until now as well. It is clear to me that that the era of building general physical switches is nearing an end, software switches will be simply overlay-ed across the top of a standard set of infrastructure that can be used for switching, compute or to drive storage layers, as VMware has started to do with NSX and VSAN.

We have to simplify how we operationally deliver and support all our environments. Delivery is too slow and support is to cumbersome. The drive to cloud will be won by the companies that are able to drive change in the quickest way. This means they will have to be able to deliver in faster and be the more flexible in support. The DevOps support model and the Agile delivery systems have to be fully applied to be able to move in a much more fluid way. Cloud companies will have to be able to add features as quickly as they are required by customers, not with a 3-6 month lead time. As the infrastructure moves to cloud the knowledge required to be in an infrastructure support team will change, being able to work with API’s and software will become the new normal! It is clear that we all need to be much more software oriented and I have seen that with a number of software based people I have worked with that are now getting more and more involved with infrastructure.

Being in IT has always required a more generalist mind and I think in the years ahead this will become more and more apparent! IT is still the engine room of all businesses, but we will have to adapt to continue being so important.

I look forward the year ahead as there are many exciting changes coming, and living in Australia we are always at the cutting edge of virtualisation and early adoption.

Happy New Year to one and all!

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