The last year I’ve been thinking about lots and lots of articles and blog posts I’ve read. All of them agree on one thing and that is that the future of the datacenter is a dynamic one. Most vendors already have solutions to accomplish this, so I would like to go one step beyond a dynamic datacenter and theorize a little about datacenter or cloud interchangeability and more specifically about how open standards could make this possible.
Standards in hardware and software is something that has been in uprising ever since late last century. But if every vendor brings his own standards it is a benefit for the vendor itself but not so much for the entire industry.
When the same open standards are used by multiple vendors it become interesting. Take CIM for example, which Microsoft has implemented in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. Some people think that CIM is a Microsoft thing, which it isn’t. CIM is an open standard and Microsoft decided to use this instead of inventing the wheel all over again. I know for a fact that some other vendors are already embracing CIM. To give a few names: Cisco, HP, EMC and Dell.
So if other vendors would embrace and implement open standards such as CIM there would be a single management technology for managing everything. My personal preference would be to use PowerShell which already has CIM implemented in the form of the CIM cmdlets.
So think about it a little… using PowerShell to export your datacenter configuration and use that as the input for the configuration of a secondary datacenter, or hosted cloud for that matter.
With PowerShell you could easily manipulate the data in whatever way you like so that, for example, you could use the hosted cloud solution as an extension of your own datacenter instead of a fallback or migration scenario.
But what about different hardware? Well, that’s where the open standards come into play…
All of this would result in something like a private to hosted cloud migration script, a datacenter extension script, a script to configure new hardware based on the configuration of hardware you’ve already got running… automation to the max!
Of course there are more things that need to change. As an example the difference, or better yet the incompatibility of virtual hard disk formats, between hypervisor vendors… but that’s s whole other discussion… 😉