Arthur Cole – IT in the Cloud: Weird and Getting Weirder

How weird will the enterprise become in the cloud? Pretty weird, by the sound of some of the discussions taking place today.

We all know that the cloud will be extremely disruptive for existing data infrastructure. Concepts like the all-virtual, all-cloud data center were considered distant possibilities just a few short years ago, but now seem to be looming on the horizon as organizations seek to cut costs and increase data agility.

But even these notions of an ethereal data environment floating around the cybersphere are starting to look quaint compared to the ideas that some forward thinkers are coming up with now.

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Take, for example, IO CEO George Slessman’s recent presentation at the Open Compute Project Summit last week, which he delivered via his cell phone. In it, he described the data center as an API in which software-based infrastructure is provisioned, deployed and decommissioned at the drop of a hat, tailored almost exclusively to the needs of the moment. To prove his point, he showed how to set up a fully functioning virtual instance, again from his phone, using physical resources located miles away—all in about three minutes. Clearly, the provider who maintains this physical infrastructure will have to worry about hardware/software integration, network configurations and the like, but the vast majority of knowledge workers will never see this side of things, nor will they understand a world in which the resources needed to do their jobs simply aren’t available.

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