The cloud has been touted as a lot of things, but the main theme emerging from VMworld Europe this week is that it’s disruptive. And the disruption is only beginning.
Cloud computing and the data centers that power it will lead the way for the technology sector, according to Arthur Goldstruck, who wrote about the event for BusinessDay, which was attended by 8,500 VMware partner companies.
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger commented that the cloud, big data, and social and mobile technologies are shaping today’s IT world, and melding together to form the mobile cloud.
“The challenge, however, is liberating resources from the client-server world, to build the mobile cloud,” said Gelsinger. And according to VMware, that will be achieved through virtualization, which the company describes as the process of uncoupling IT services from hardware and providing them through software.
Gelsinger added that the immediate benefits of virtualization come in the form of cost savings and being able to reduce capital spend by consolidating resources. This leads to reduced operational costs and of course increased efficiencies and automation, leading to better productivity.
VMware believes that virtualization has already saved the company’s 550,000 global customers $10 billion. And extending the virtual model to other data center layers could save the company’s client base an additional $70 billion, realized through operational efficiencies and automation benefits.
Interestingly, Africa and other developing nations represent the greatest growth area for virtualization, according to Wayne Biehn, regional manager for Africa for VMware.
“Many customers in Africa have very thin IT resources, stretched by the demands of business on service delivery,” he said. “The immediate benefit from virtualization and a software-defined data center is how automation removes this manual burden from really thinly stretched teams. Virtualization frees up time to manage infrastructure that is traditionally based on a physical model.”
Unfortunately in more developed markets, IT staff themselves are holding back virtualization adoption for fear of losing their jobs. “In the developed world, the siloed cultures of computing, applications, storage, networking and security creates job security for these guys because they have their own silos of expertise,” said Biehn. “They see automation as a threat when in fact it’s an enabler and a liberator, allowing all these siloed teams to work together as a true team for the first time.”
“We’re standing in front of the most disruptive force in IT in 10 years,” said Gelsinger in his opening address. “We are set to rewire IT again and again and again. The mobile cloud era is before you.”
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