By Tracy Burrows, ITWeb contributor.
Johannesburg, 18 Sep 2013
This is enabled by cloud computing and the creation of vast ecosystems of co-creativity, say experts.
Ubiquitous computing is fast becoming a reality, enabled by cloud computing and the creation of vast ecosystems of co-creativity. The enterprise virtualisation journey is moving to virtualised storage and networking, in turn leading to the truly software-defined data centre. And there’s no stopping the mobile workforce.
This emerged at the VMware Executive Forum, staged at Melrose Arch this week, when IT businessman and thought leader Stafford Masie outlined his vision on the future of computing, while VMware experts elaborated on the company’s strategy to take enterprises into this future.
Xhead= Future smurfs
Masie said the Internet is rapidly evolving into a sensory membrane of ubiquitous, real-time, federated subsystems (smurfs) that deliver rich services and applications. Today, he said, business success does not depend on size. “Now, it’s about collaboration; building platforms for ecosystems of co-creativity.
”He noted that technology was moving away from people, and was becoming ever-present, much in the way electricity had initially been owned by the rich, but had eventually become a utility. “We are moving away from the burden of ownership to the benefits of access,” he said.
Matt Piercy, VP for northern EMEA at VMware, said VMware customers were moving towards this ubiquitous computing approach.
He said VMware is seeing increasing interest from its customers in getting more from their existing virtualisation investments, and are turning their attention to network and storage virtualisation. “Globally, the trends are now to look to the software-defined data centre (SDDC), software-defined networking (SDN) and the hybrid cloud, to deliver greater bottom-line benefits for business,” said Piercy. “Then, enterprises must manage this environment, and inevitably, this leads to automation of the environment,” he said.
The cloud journey will also be accelerated with the launch of the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service, set to be introduced in Africa in the first half of next year, said Piercy. The service is expected to lower the barrier to entry, overcoming cost, compliance and operational concerns.
“We are forecasting a potentially bigger market in Africa than in traditional markets,” he said, “possibly because many enterprises plan to leapfrog directly into the cloud.”
Wayne Biehn, regional manager for Africa at VMware, noted that changing just the compute component from a hardware to a soft state model was saving VMware customers more than $10 billion. Extending this up the stack allowed for even more significant savings, he noted.
But the benefits extend beyond cost savings. “The software-defined data centre – where IT is delivered as a service – will accelerate time to market, time to innovation and time to revenue,” he pointed out.