There's a lot of talk these days about convergence as it relates to IT infrastructurein the data center. But as important as that trend is, there is another type of convergence under way that could prove to be even more important long-term.
Whether it's foreshadowed by the three-year technology alliance agreement that Microsoft signed with Hewlett-Packard or BMC's move to acquire Phurnance, a provider of tools for deploying Java application servers, the days when application management is segregated from systems management are rapidly coming to a close.
Scott Fulton, vice president and general manager for BMC's service automation business, says that while the ultimate goal is not to eliminate the need for specialists in either area, the need for these disparate groups of IT professional to work more closely together is more than apparent.
One of the big reasons for the need for these groups to work more closely together is the advent of the next generation of virtualization, which is going to make it a whole lot easier to dynamically move application workloads across any number of virtual and physical servers. That level of flexibility, however, requires close cooperation between application management and server management tools to effectively execute.
As part of that effort, Fulton says customers should expect to see BMC extend its management reach beyond the server and database level to include middleware and packaged applications. In effect, what he is saying is that vendors of IT management tools are going to need to be able to provide customers with tightly integrated suites of management tools that span the gamut of all IT activities if they want to compete effectively in the age of virtualization and cloud computing.
This may ultimately lead to a realignment of job functions within IT and the eventual creation of super administrators. But in the short term, it also means that IT people who have been pretty heads down when it comes to managing their specific domains are going to have to develop better relationships with the rest of their IT brethren as the interdependencies between hardware and software continue to get not only more elegant, but also more complex.