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Will IT as a Service be the Next Phase for the Cloud?

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Kevin Epstein: Cloud computing is maturing: so will IT as a service be the next phase as Paul Maritz predicted in his VMware keynote?

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  • A brief excerpt from his speech:

    "a vision to modernize the data center and transform IT... bring this new world of IT as a Service and hybrid cloud computing to reality."

    Maybe I am too simple minded but it sounds like "Markitecture" to me. I really don't understand what he means by "IT as a Service".

  • The favorite consulting answer, "It depends!"

    Are we talking about providing an ITILv3-based service around management and operations of Clouds and cloud-based applications? Or, are we talking about using the term arbitrarily as something has a nice ring, but no specification or meat around it?

    If it's the former, then I believe that organizations could then integrate their internal processes with the providers very easily.

    If it's the latter, then it's just Marketecture.

    JP

  • Cloud is already such a large umbrella for so many initiatives that I don't think we would call the IT portion alone "the next phase." I think all of this will flow in parallel.

    Wherever large user organizations are being supported by IT with typical email, calendaring, shared folders, and collaboration software are used, IT as a Service makes a lot of sense to consider. Even keeping the infrastructure and personnel "private" but leveraging the ITaaS architecture could be a big gain.

    Other forms of cloud are happening fast as well. DevTest Cloud for the development of their apps, SaaS is already well underway, etc.

  • I suppose I should have provided more detail in my question...

    Personally I'm not a fan of Marketecture. So allow me to provide my own more tactical interpretation -- and I'm very curious about Tarak, JP and John's reactions.

    Distilling the hype, I'd submit that ITaS is what IaaS becomes when it grows up. Like looking at Dell & HP now vs 1980's...

    In other words, in the '80s, if one ordered an email system, what would show up on the loading dock would be a pile of machines, some CDs with software, cables, switches, and perhaps some storage.

    Today, the same order ("Gimme Email", as Sesame Street's Cookie Monster would say) results in a fully-assembled rack, containing servers preloaded with an OS and Exchange, switches, management software, and a NAS unit. Plug in, configure, and go.

    So it's ironic seeing IaaS (the virtual equivalent to the '80s pile'o'hardware on the loading dock) when we all want ITaS -- right?

    Or am I (and Paul?) missing something? Do companies benefit more from fully functional IT systems delivered in the cloud, or is "roll-your-own" IaaS somehow preferable because of differences between virtual and physical delivery?

  • Are we better off having companies IT-centric to prosper instead of business and people-centric?

    There's a bit of a paradox happening here that while IT sees itself as a 'sun' where different business needs revolve around and depend a lot upon, more and more by becoming a 'cloud', it has made itself appear unimportant and invisible to enable more innovation and lower the barriers to achieving the primary business objective.

    But let's face it, personally, invisible is kinda scary and it will always take time and positive first-hand experience to make the transition and even more so for companies.

    Yet, I don't think that the benefits of the cloud here is the one in question, whether private or public. Basically, it's the push for the products that are driving the market hazy-crazy, and the battle-cry stitched with new terminologies just clouds the market even more.

    Oh and ITaaS as grown-up IaaS, could be - but by then, IT will be reduced and represented, not by dept and servers, but by 'hand-held devices'. But that's another story ...

  • I don't view IT as a Service as a phase, necessarily, but more a higher level layer in a dynamic data center architecture. If you start with infrastructure 2.0 (virtualization, infrastructure APIs, collaborative networkign) and build cloud atop that, replete with the right services that abstract the lower layer, then you can build atop that another layer that allows nearly push-button like "IT", i.e. IT as a Service.

    I've posted a more detailed description this morning and hopefully it makes more sense than a simple paragraph can.

    Lori

  • It as a Service (ITaaS) is only a buzzword, used by Vmware as well as by other companies following Vmware. I am not sure I really understand what is ITaaS and how it is related to Cloud Computing (Cloud Computing in this context refers only to Public Clouds). If it about Business Users defining their Business needs, which are automatically translated to IT resources required saving a justfication process, It could be a reality for enterprises (if it ever be) in more than a decade.
    Instead of using that term I suggest to focus on the actual products "enabling" it. In Vmware case I would focus on the actual benefits of Vcloud Director.

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