With cloud computing evolving to provide flexibility and cost benefits, it's also raising the odds for management complexity.
In the not-too-distant future, many IT organizations will be dealing with tiers of computing, each with its own associated costs. The goal will be to determine which application workloads need to run on each tier, ranging from on-premise systems to cloud computing platforms that might be half a world away.
That vision of enterprise computing was brought home last week at the VMworld 2010 conference, where VMware executives painted a picture of clouds of computing over which virtual machines will be synchronized. As compelling as that vision is, VMware execs talked more about how to enable it using the VMware vCloud Director orchestration engine than about how to manage it.
According to President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Jackson, Adaptive Computing is one of a handful of companies trying to position themselves around the concept of intelligent application workload management. The basic idea is that IT organizations should have access to a policy-based management platform that determines which tier is most appropriate for each application workload. Adaptive Computing has already partnered with Hewlett-Packard, which is building out a portfolio of management tools for cloud computing.
In much the same way we face management challenges with virtual machines, cloud computing will bring its own management issues. To overcome them, IT organization will need to figure out how to attach some intelligence to the application workload so that it automatically finds its place in the cloud, rather than trying to do that manually. Without that level of automation, there will be no hope of dealing with the inherent scale and complexity of cloud computing.