Velocity Keynote: IT Operations are Unsustainable


Bill Coleman (the "B" in BEA) is giving the opening keynote titled Green Data Centers, but it's really about sustainable operations. He begins by saying that the current way we operate data centers is unsustainable. Operations costs are growing at twice the rate of IT in general. This is the unintended consequence of the success of networked operations. Scale and complexity have grown dramatically. Bill claims 5 orders of magnitude.

In some organizations it can take 6 months to get a new server into the data center. If you do it faster than that, good for you. Virtualization is a band-aid. It adds to complexity while helping with scale. IT automation helps deal with complexity.

We're nearing a huge inflection points: it's theoretically possible to connect anything to anything. Soon that will be the norm.

What's the answer? The cloud. Today we have Cloud 1.0. I use proprietary tools to build a web application on proprietary platform. Soon those tools will be more sophisticated, but still be proprietary. Cloud 3.0 will make all that a commodity. We will take it for granted.

Power savings comes from actively managing servers--turning them on and off as needed. Real-time, dynamic capacity management is the key, but the real point is that policy-based server management provides for scalability and pooling of resources.

Bill talks about a major corporation with 15,000 virtual machines and they still only get 20% utilization. You can get to 80% on a mainframe because they mix and match jobs--mission critical or not--on the same hardware. Policy-based data center management allows that to happen by tacking up and tearing down VLANs, servers, and storage to meet current demands.