This is a nice, unsolicited review of something Kent Christensen and I (mostly Kent) have been working on for a few months now. I won’t say I’m unbiased but I will say I appreciate the hint of skepticism at the end. The real meat of the article can be summed up here:
Datalink apparently realizes that just layering a cloud over private infrastructure doesn’t really move the needle and that what organizations are looking for is a full service offering that covers the totality of their needs.
This is really the only thing that matters. I’ve been hammering the tired “Cloud Talk Track” for a long time and, as Ted can attest, was the biggest naysayer on the subject until certain components matured to the point where they made sense, particularly the command, control, automation and orchestration stacks. Just throwing a blanket of “Cloud” over top of someone’s virtual infrastructure doesn’t do squat but make them resent the buzz words even more than they did before.
What most of the clients I meet want is to see the same kind of agility, speed and simplicity in deploying their cloud or cloud strategy as their end users and App/Dev teams expect out of the infrastructure once ready for service. We tend to make it harder than it needs to be and that’s a function of the type of problems we’re up against: entrenched processes, systems and people. Change is hard, so we try to reverse engineer a new architecture into an old model and, in the process, create a thousand new decisions which require attention. That leads to analysis paralysis and, usually, failure to get off the blocks. If you step back, simplify the stack and make a lot of the nitty gritty decisions up front like Kent has done, much of the hurdle is overcome before you start.
Is it right for everyone? Nope, but based on the calls I have been taking from analysts and clients a nerve has been hit and it’s not limited to a specific vertical, company size or level of maturity with virtualization generally or cloud specifically. I shouldn’t be surprised. They talk about this all the time on Restaurant Impossible and Bar Rescue: simplify the menu.
Update: it looks like Talkin’ Cloud also covered this. I like their quote from Kent.