Virtualization is great. It’s by most measures the most significant technology to hit the world of business since the internet some 25 years ago.
It’s such a simple concept; use a software layer to abstract hardware instructions so that one computer can be transformed in to multiple virtual computers. On the surface this gets users an immediate and significant reduction in overall infrastructure costs associated with IT, and furthermore also reduces the costs associated with power, cooling and real estate.
There are even significant soft cost savings as well. I once saw a speaker talk about how in the past a single administrator was only able to manage a handful of physical servers at a time. But with virtualization management becomes easier to the point where that same administrator could manage hundreds of virtual servers.
Wait a minute! Did he say hundreds of servers?
The reality that many enterprises are facing is that this benefit of virtualization is quickly becoming virtualization’s Achilles heel. At some point there is a tipping point of efficiency where without perhaps the addition of performance enhancing drugs could an individual actually manage anything at that scale, whether virtual or not.
Some vendors are now using the term virtual stall to describe this. I simply think of it as reaching the limits of how much juice employers can squeeze out of their staff.
This is specifically the need that private cloud solutions address.
If you set aside all the various debates and analyst definitions of cloud for a moment; when I look at cloud computing solutions of all flavors what immediately comes clear to me, is at the end of the day, all the flexibility and automation coming to market can really help that administrator. By offloading mundane management tasks to software, the core management workload of administrators can finally get back to human levels.