(Disclosure: My employer is an investor in OnPath Technologies, a Layer 1 switching company)
Due to the broad adoption of virtualization technology in the server, network, and storage sectors, it is easier than ever for IT admins to apply business policy to the infrastructure and automate any number of menial tasks that used to suck up manhours. Servers, storage, and even networking are treated as logical data objects and can be manipulated with ease.
However, to realize the industry vision of the hands off, “lights out” cloud computing datacenter, all parts of the IT infrastructure will need to have automation capabilities, including the physical network. Just as network engineers don’t have to physically be in the datacenter to modify routing tables or switch configurations and server guys don’t need to sit at a server’s keyboard to manage it, datacenter ops teams shouldn’t have to send someone into the datacenter, in the wiring closet, or under the raised floor to make physical cabling adds, moves, and changes.
Seems logical to me, but I’m not an IT buyer so my vote doesn’t really count :) Wondering what folks out there are thinking (or not thinking) about this topic of layer 1 automation…