Future technology: A booming off-the-shelf cloud computing market, MTI predicts

UK integrator shares its five future technology predictions for 2011, including forecasts for data centres, virtualisation and off-the-shelf cloud computing technology

The beginning of the year is a good time to contemplate what the new year will bring. At MTI we’ve put our heads together to come up with the following five future technology predictions for 2011 regarding datacentres, virtualisation and off-the-shelf cloud technology industries.

1. Virtualisation policies will tighten up

In 2011, datacentres will become more complex. As virtual instances increase in number, they will demand more utility from existing hardware as well as more management tools and staff. Scalability will be limited, and “future-proofed” IT services, that were designed to grow with a business, will be under threat.

MTI predicts datacentre complexity will force IT leaders to tighten their virtualisation policies and work with people who are certified and to focus on only a few key vendors this year. When choosing future technologies, customers will seek to engage with partners that offer “depth instead of breadth.”

2. Cisco’s UCS will gain further ground

Cisco System’s Unified Computing System will gain traction from enterprises in 2011 that are looking to simplify their datacentres and shared infrastructure through future technology purchases. As with any hardware replacements, adoption brings certain risks, such as downtime and customers will want to -- and be able to -- test their new environments for themselves before committing IT budgets to the move.

MTI predicts a significant increase in market share for Cisco’s UCS in 2011, particularly on the back of its successful coalition with EMC and VMware.

3. Virtualisation pushes move to integrated infrastructure

Virtualisation can offer a panacea for IT efficiency and doing more with less, but for all the benefits it offers, in reality it brings a small increase in a company’s physical infrastructure footprint and a management headache. A legacy physical infrastructure is not always designed to manage the workload of virtualisation, and thousands of bottlenecks for IT performance are looming in 2011.

MTI predicts increased datacentre complexity that will force IT leaders to reevaluate their datacentre situation and perhaps move towards employing Vblock Infrastructure Packages or other virtual computing environment solutions.

4. Late-comers to integrated infrastructure may have to wait

Knowledge and IT skills for effectively managing and deploying virtualised infrastructures will be in even shorter supply in 2011 than they were in 2010. As the market moves towards a more integrated approach, future technology buyers will be challenged to find multi-vendor certified integrators to consult, design and install integrated infrastructure systems.

MTI predicts late-entry enterprises seeking to roll out an integrated infrastructure may be forced to push back project time frames until they can access support people with right skills. This will require system integrators to centre on a few focused partnerships that offer the right deals to customers.

5. Budget squeezes will cause a move to managed services

With the continuing squeeze on IT budgets, the combination of dips in infrastructure performance and the dearth of available skills will make working with managed service providers highly compelling in 2011. Such partnerships will either complement the existing infrastructure, or, in some instances, replace it. Companies can then increase efficiency, replace material capital expenditure with operating expenditure and solve issues relating to the management and maintenance of their infrastructures.

MTI forecasts managed services will grow as customers look for scalable solutions that deliver efficiency. These technologies will incorporate forward planning and provisions for the future.

Working solutions for datacentres

To sum up, these future technology predictions and trends will likely amount to an increased take-up of off-the-shelf cloud computing technologies, such as VCE’s Vblock solution, in either public or private cloud forms. The process started in 2010 but will gain greater momentum in 2011.

By the end of 2011, more companies will be taking advantage of the benefits of virtualisation and cloud computing. Rather than just being buzzwords, these technologies will represent  what works for companies’ datacentre requirements.


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