Recession of 2008 Makes Cloud Computing the Biggest New IT Topic
Cloud computing has replaced virtualization as the new hot topic of 2008
By: Greg Ness
Nov. 14, 2008 07:50 AM
Greg Ness's Blog
Over the last three decades we’ve watched a meteoric rise in processing power and intelligence in network endpoints and systems drive an incredible series of network innovations; and those innovations have led to the creation of multi-billion dollar network hardware markets. As we watch the global economy shiver and shake we now see signs of the next technology boom: Infrastructure2.0.
Infrastructure 1.0 - The Multi-billion Dollar Static Network
Infrastructure 1.0 made companies like Cisco, Juniper/NetScreen, F5 Networks and more recently Riverbed very successful. It established and maintained the connectivity between ever increasing global populations of increasingly powerful network-attached devices. Its impact on productivity and commerce are proportionate to the advent of oceanic shipping, paved roads and railroads, electricity and air travel. It has shifted wealth and accelerated activities on a level that perhaps has no historical precedent.
I talked about the similar potential economic impacts of cloud computing in June, comparing its future role to the shipment of spices across Asia and the Middle East before the rise of oceanic shipping. One of the key enables of cloud computing is virtualization. And our early experiences with data center virtualization have taught us plenty about the potential impact of clouds on static infrastructure. Some of these impacts will be felt on the network and others within the cloudplexes.
The market caps of Cisco, Juniper, F5, Riverbed and others will be impacted by how well they can adapt to the new dynamic demands challenging the static network.
More fluid and powerful systems and endpoints will require either more network intelligence or even higher enterprise spending on network management.
This became especially apparent when VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and others in virtualization announced their plans to move their offerings into production data centers and endpoints. At that point the static infrastructure world was put on notice that their habitat of static endpoints was on its way into the history books. I blogged about this, (sort of ) at Always On in February 2007 when making a point about the difficulties inherent with static network security keeping up with mobile VMs.
The sudden emergence of virtualization security marked the beginning of an even greater realization that the static infrastructure built over three decades was unprepared for supporting dynamic systems. The worlds of systems and networks were colliding again and driving new demands that would enable new solution categories.
The new chasm between static infrastructure and software now disconnected from hardware, is much broader than virtsec, and will ultimately drive the emergence of a more dynamic and resilient network, empowered by continued application layer innovations and the integration of static infrastructure with enhanced management and connectivity intelligence.
As Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others push the envelope with massive virtualization-enabled cloudplexes revitalizing small town economies -and whomever else rides the clouds- they will continue to pressure the world of Infrastructure1.0. More sophisticated systems will require more intelligent networks. That simple premise is the biggest threat today to network infrastructure players.
The market capitalizations of Cisco, Juniper, F5 and Riverbed will ultimately be tied to their ability to service more dynamic endpoints, from mobile PCs to virtualized data centers and cloudplexes. Thus far, the jury is still out about the nature and implications of various partnership announcements between 1.0 players and virtualization players.
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