Provisioning Mobile and Cloud Resources
Two weeks ago I listed a number of issues facing technical IT support departments as it relates to the technology trends in cloud computing and mobile devices. Yesterday I touched on some issues concerning identity and access management. Today I’ll cover a few topics regarding custom IT resource self-provisioning by non-IT users (business or application development groups), focusing mainly on cloud (I’ll discuss mobile next week).
In a world where IT wants to give users the ability to self-provision resources (or rather “has to” instead of “wants”), the following issues arise:
- An interface is needed for non-IT trained professionals. This interface must be simple and describe infrastructure resources in fewer technical terms, if possible. Furthermore, it should be impervious to user corruption or issues that would affect the underlying IT infrastructure.
- Not only should IT resources be shared, but their provisioning should also be abstracted through virtualization. It’s not enough that servers are virtualized with VMWare, Xen, or Hyper V. Storage needs to be virtualized.Network resources should be virtualized and the network as a whole must support dynamic provisioning and moving of resources and life workloads (applications and databases need to continue communicating to each other at high performance even if they regularly change physical locations). Power sources and consumption reflects another issue, for with dynamic provisioning of IT resources comes dynamic utilization of power, which may not be evenly distributed among all the physical resources across data centers abstracted as a single cloud (or even a single data center).
- Companies should enforce strict policies and rules in the data center that maintain quality of service according to SLA’s, whether through user’s limitation concerning provision at the user interface level, or regarding limits of the amount of resources at the data center level.
Indeed, large vendors like Novell and, to a degree, VMWare, and expansion stage software companies in the data center or private cloud management space need to address all of these issues to become a viable solution for the enterprise IT department. While some companies presently address these issues, others have a long road ahead.