Archive for June 2009
Using techniques perfected by consumer web companies, a generation of enterprise IT companies will emerge that deliver a vastly superior user experience to IT professionals and employees alike. Improvements in ease of use will liberate employs from terrible software, server-side software development will increase the pace of product improvements and lower support costs, and the self-service model will change the economics of enterprise IT sales forever. Google’s success is as much about AdWords offering advertising services to the SMB segment as it is about serving consumers search services.
Notice that the pace of innovation is exogenous to the economy. The Great Depression and the World Wars and various recessions do not introduce a meaningful change in the long-term trajectory of Moore’s Law. Certainly, the adoption rates, revenue, profits and economic fates of the computer companies behind the various dots on the graph may go though wild oscillations, but the long-term trend emerges nevertheless.
So don’t fret, folks….everything’s gonna be alright…
“You really want to instrument everything you have,” Adams told an audience of 700 operations professionals. “The best thing you can do is have more information about your system. We’ve built a process around using these metrics to make decisions. We use science. The way we find the weakest point in our infrastructure is by collecting metrics and making graphs out of them.”
This makes high volume datacenter ops sound fairly straightforward. As long as you have volumes of data, and a well-thought out process, you can make informed decisions. I certainly practiced this methodology when I was involved in datacenter operations, but not so sure this is practical as computing environments become harder to debug through multiple layers of abstraction and virtualization.
Convenience is hugely attractive in organizations because it is easy to defend and easy to approve. You don’t need to call a meeting to try something new, because the convenient option has already been approved. The problem is that convenient approaches rarely break through or generate extraordinary returns.
I think the cloud computing industry will borrow some of the best practices of previous generations of tech partnerships to solve today’s revenue sharing challenge. The rapidly evolving cloud environment is creating a new set of supply-chain relationships which will be governed by the same partnering principles of the past, but with a different set of revenue tracking requirements and economic parameters. This means new tools and techniques will have to be employed to automate the monitoring and billing processes so they are cost-effective in this price-competitive market.