The Great Data Center Leap Forward

    By now, most IT organizations have become aware of the fact that they are looking at embracing some form of converged IT infrastructure. But being aware of something and having the political will to do something about it are not necessarily the same thing.

    When it comes to converged IT infrastructure, there is still a lot of concern over job roles in this new age of the data center. In fact, Brian Boruff, CSC vice president of emering markets, reports that concerns over the future of job functions are the number one impediment slowing down the adoption of platforms such as the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS).

    CSC just launched a new BizCloud program under which it will help organizations migrate to the Cisco UCS platform as the foundation for running a private cloud in less than 10 weeks. One of the most attractive things about Cisco UCS and the converged infrastructure platform is that the operating costs associated with running them are so much less than what companies spend today on labor and management tools in the data center. The reason for this is that rather than requiring dedicated IT specialists for servers, storage and networking, these new architectures leverage virtualization to unify the management of the data center in a way that theoretically means there is a need for fewer IT administrators in the data center.

    Boruff says that converged infrastructure is only the beginning of that process. He says that CSC expects that once these systems are deployed, customers will want to kick off master data management (MDM) projects with an eye towards eliminating all the redundant data that they have today. Less data ultimately means fewer systems to manage and deploy.

    The question is, however, whether these new systems will reduce headcount in the data center or actually just limit its future growth. When you think about it, most IT organizations are looking at a significant backlog of applications that need to be deployed. With the rise of agile development methodologies, those applications are getting developed faster than ever. Converged infrastructure should mean that IT organizations will have the system resources on hand to support a lot more live applications.

    There’s no doubt that some IT organizations will take advantage of converged infrastructure to reduce their headcount. But if vendors really want IT organizations to get behind the adoption of these systems, they need to do a better job of linking their adoption to new application development and deployment. Otherwise, faced with uncertainty over their future employment status, you can bet that IT folks everywhere are going to slow the move to inevitable for as long as possible.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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