Because I have nothing better to do on a Saturday night I thought I’d jot down a few random thoughts that have been floating around in my head. So this post may be a bit disjointed or rambling in nature, forgive me. If you would have told me 5 years ago that the Developer team within the company I worked for would be driving the technological direction of IT within the organization, I would have laughed at you. Harken back to 2009, and what you would have seen in many organizations was a centrally planned IT, lead primarily from the infrastructure, administration, and operations teams. Developers, well they were not calling the shots, they were in many instances beholden to a rigid ideology that came from those central planners.
Today, the developers have won control, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Furthermore the approaches to infrastructure are becoming more developer focused. The programability around all things “software defined” is dominating the focus of IT needs, and in turn we have entered the age of app-centric infrastructure. Todays new application approach is a scalable, agile, self healing, resilient, automated, distributed system, focused on programability (buzzword overload). The apps are driving the business, and defining the infrastructure. The apps are created by the developer teams, and the operational efficiencies being achieved with this new focus are allowing businesses to achieve unheard of agility and ability to respond to the economic realities that a globally connected society demands.The goal is real time decision making, and the means to get to that point requires an infrastructure and development platform that can respond in real time as well.
The New Normal
If we look at the rapid rise of OpenStack, Chef/Puppet, the hyper-growth of Docker and containerization, as well as the far too many to name startups that are focused on the concepts around DevOps space, we see that there is a fundamental shift in how applications are being created, managed, and deployed. The “Cloud” was the enabler for this new normal mindset, and now there is a shift to bring the elastic nature that cloud presents inside the business and gain full control. These systems are taking greater advantage of the advancements made in the infrastructure space. The “new normal” is to craft apps that understand these changes and can adapt as quickly as the changes take place. In this landscape commodity hardware will dominate, and custom built hardware based solutions will be shunned. At true Web Scale, platforms like what is being done with the Open Compute project will be the infrastructure of choice, where down the food chain, Rack Scale, and Hyper Convergence will provide the basic building blocks for IT.
To close out, it’s a great time to be working in this space. Nearly every customer I speak with today is working to implement this new operational model, and it’s great to see all of the new companies that are popping up to meet the new challenges that this space presents. The biggest challenge I see right now, is keeping up with it all.