Monday, April 11, 2011

Journey to Client, Cloud, and Virtualization

Like a canvas the blank page stares back waiting to be filled with vibrant colors to create a picture perfect view of how the artist views their world. Although many pictures have been painted of the Client, Cloud and Virtualization with vibrant variation they are still a bit blurred by vendor bias.

The journey I set out a year ago was to create the picture of the Client, Cloud, and Virtualization painted through the clarity of the eyes of the customer. For those that truly know me - I will always be the first to admit that although my opinions may be interesting they are not as relevant as the customers I serve as they are the ones that are the true unsung heroes. The architects, IT Admins, CIOs, CTOs, FTEs, Audit and Security teams that keep our technology dependent world humming.

For those of us that have been around as our society has become more dependent on technology we have seen the sleepless nights, long weekend upgrades, countless hours missed from our families, and problems solved. For those that think it is not critical - think about it the next time you are in the hospital. Look around - see how dependent we are on technology and not just the inventors of it but those that are supporting what we create.

Like so many journeys, mine has been filled with surprises, twists, turns, and mini-destinations along the way. I originally set out to publish a vendor neutral guide for Universal Clients (connecting Client, Cloud, and Virtualization) for and by customers.

Detour: Visible Ops Private Cloud
Suffice to say while I was busy on my journey - I was asked to take a slight detour to work with some old friends and colleagues on creating the next book in the Visible Ops series. Being a big fan of Visible Ops and IT Process Institute, Andi Mann, and Kurt Milne (my co-authors) - it was a worth while detour to explore.

I have rather enjoyed working with Andi and Kurt on creating what we hope to be a culmination of collective customer and implementer feedback on the challenges and lessons learned from some of the leading IT people we know. Visible Ops Private Cloud: From Virtualization to Private Cloud in 4 Practical Steps - was a joy to work on because it was for customer by customers. We stopped at Private Cloud because there appears to be a bifurcation in the market currently. Meaning that public clouds are largely being consumed by Small to Medium Businesses that lack the internal IT, are less regulated, and complicated than their larger Enterprise counterparts. The SMB is full force on public clouds because it provides agility and ability to implement services at a fraction of the costs.

However the Enterprise is proceeding with caution at the moment because neither the Software Producers nor Cloud Providers have all the kinks worked out to provide compliant, cost effective systems for Cloud Bursting and utilization of Public Clouds for highly regulated environments. It is not to say that they are not testing the waters with test and development. They are just not jumping in full force...yet...

Visible Ops Private Cloud captures the much needed foundation of people, processes and technology to enable IT to build to the next level: Cloud Bursting/Hybrid Cloud and eventually Universal Clients.

Final Destination: I Speak Client, Cloud, & Virtualization Series Coming Soon...
Suffice to say..prior to writing the Visible Ops Private Cloud, I logged quite a bit of time with customers, conducting interviews, research and writing about the next major paradigm shift that is currently under way: Desktop Transformation to Universal Clients (Client, Cloud, and Virtualization). Although the heavy lifting is done...there are still promises to keep and miles to go before it comes out into the wild.... but rest assured it is not too far off.

With a little help from former colleagues and family expect to see the "I Speak Client, Cloud, and Virtualization" series coming soon. We are working on details of publication. Stealth is about "I Speak Series" created for customers by customers. The series will provide small "bytes" of clarity around people, processes, and technology to help IT cut through the chaos surrounding Desktop Transformation from static systems to Universal Clients in the Cloud. Stay Tuned....