RealTime IT News

Swainson: Virtualization Everywhere in 5 Years

NEW YORK -- The computing resources that make the bedrock of IT will be virtualized over the next five years to alleviate the tangled Web of complexity in data centers.

Virtualization, in which software on physical machines is split up to act as several physical machines, is showing up in processors, storage, networks, applications and databases.

John Swainson
John Swainson
Source: CA

However, these technologies create more complexity and need to be carefully managed as "enterprise IT management," said CA  CEO John Swainson during his keynote at the Interop New York 2006 event here.

That complexity is in large part derived from the automation of computers and all of the networking gear, applications, management and security infrastructure that connect and power them.

This complexity is manifested in remotely connected devices, as well as new types of security applications to corral those gadgets.

Moreover, these technologies must work with existing environments and legacy technology, such as mainframes.

In short, complexity derives from treating complexity.

"Businesses are continuing to automate their business processes, and that's a good thing," Swainson said. "It ensures that productivity will increase, and that drives up productivity and enables economic growth.

"But each time we do it we add another layer of complexity to the IT environment ... The level of complexity is becoming overwhelming."

Swainson noted that CIOs can use virtualization to cut through the time-and cost-consuming of traditional custom coding.

However, the next step is to find a way to choreograph the components in a virtualized environment, which is where service-oriented architectures (SOA) come in.

SOAs , he said, offer standard interfaces connected to centralized repositories, as well as a standard way for vendor software to integrate processes and transactions to allow for the smooth consumption of Web services .

But SOAs trigger the need for more management.

Complexity spawned by virtualization and SOAs, as well as the uptick in computing usage associated with falling IT costs, is creating the need for stronger management schemas.

"We need to drive relentlessly to full process automation via technology ... even as new and disruptive technologies emerge and are exploited," Swainson said.

Then came the pitch: Swainson said CA's enterprise IT management plan includes security, enterprise systems management (ESM) for storage, and business service optimization (BSO) "to do for IT what ERP did for business processes."

Enterprise resource planning provided a framework for managing application processes, which is what CA hopes to accomplish at a holistic level with EITM.

The idea is to rapidly respond to business changes, but be proactive about them where possible to accommodate such technologies as Web services, RFID  and VoIP .

EITM, Swainson said, will both effectively automate IT processes and reduce the costs of manual labor chances of human error.

CA isn't the only company in the high-tech space working on such a plan; IBM , BMC , HP , Microsoft  and just about any company that makes management software is trying to concoct a catch-all strategy for managing IT resources.

But that could be easier said than done.

At a session here earlier today about why network management is becoming popular again, panel members claimed the different categories of management software are breeding too many point solutions that don't solve the whole IT management problem.