Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Service Level Automation in 2007

Its the first day back in the office after a superb, work free holiday break, so I thought I'd get my (our?) motor reving again with some "predictions" about the virtualization and SLA spaces in 2007.

  • Service Level Automation will expand from the server-centric approach of today, to a variety of granularities, including the application level, the middleware level, the OS level, the cluster level, etc. This is crucial when it comes to truly optimizing both hardware and software usage, including optimizing license utilization, etc.

  • The incentive for larger organizations to move to a true utility computing infrastructure will grow tremendously as initiatives are announced throughout the Fortune 500.

  • Successful SLA and utility computing implementations will continue to appear in both commercial and government customers. Unsuccessful implementations will also appear, either due to poorly planned solutions (the "I can build it" syndrome), or poorly planned projects (the "I can convert my entire datacenter at once" syndrome).

  • The winners in the utility computing and service level automation space will be defined by successful implementations, strong partnerships and innovation that continues to disrupt the traditional tightly coupled, "silo"-based approach IT uses today.

  • Utility computing will appear as a system integrator specialty with increasing frequency over 2007. In fact, specialist boutique firms will start appearing in large cities around the United States and Western Europe, and will be quite profitable.

Let me know what you think. I've only had a few hours to think about this this year, so I'm sure more will occur to me over the next few days.


Lance said...

James, good to see you back on the blog.

With your V.4 software how do you see that impacting the future predictions?


James Urquhart said...


Thanks for the support.

Cassatt is obviously making adjustments to meet the demand proposed in these predictions. For example, our new NVS network virtualization feature (really just an automation of layer 2 network configuration) is "adding skin to the onion", growing the scope of datacenter automation supporting our Service Level Automation approach. We already do middleware SLA, but are looking to expand to where we can mix and match applications, middleware, OSes, virtual hardware, physical hardware and even network, storage and power as needed to meet QoS needs.

I think one very cool element is the opportunity for system integrators. The expertise required to deliver utility computing and SLA goes beyond the traditional System Administrator specialties to a larger IT architecture and best practices role. I think anyone with the appropriate starting skills and capital could stand to make a lot of money providing expert services in this sector.

Of course, Cassatt would be happy to help in any way we can... (Oops, perhaps a little too "marketing-ish" there... :)