By bobp on Nov 18, 2009
Announcements have certainly accelerated lately with respect to integrated infrastructure technology. Multiple vendors who provide infrastructure hardware for compute, storage and network are either partnering with each other or pursuing a "go alone" strategy. Few will disagree that more tightly integrated solutions will benefit IT customers.
However an IT solution has always had the expectation and requirement to be integrated. That is why the IT industry has developed over the years standards and protocols. In other words, common industry accepted methods to move, process and protect business as well as consumer information. Traditionally large complex IT solutions have been integrated by VARs, management consulting firms or consulting services for a given customer. Is that beginning to change? Also the IT solution is comprised of more than just tightly integrated hardware blocks.
Let's not forget about the various applications that need to run on any given vendors hardware platform. In addition to the applications, virtualization is becoming a standard requirement to maximize the utilization of any vendors integrated hardware platform. Infrastructure providers will need to adjust to the fact that hypervisor technology may sell less hardware because utilization and efficiency will be largely improved.
Does this new focus on consolidation favor software stacks that are both heterogeneous and therefore ubiquitous? The IT industry has become a mature business. New ideas will always continue but IT will still be comprised of both hardware and software.
A good analogy is the automobile industry... Automobiles have had tremendous amounts of progress over the past 100 years. For example there have been many optimizations and efficiencies with car manufacturing, car fuel efficiency, etc. Over the past 20 years the automobile industry has highly leveraged the use of embedded electronics in cars. But the basic components of a car (tires, engine, brakes, steering wheel, etc.) have (and for the foreseeable future) not changed.
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