Looking back, 2014 has been a good year for IT professionals earning a living with virtualization as their main skills. Virtualization and cloud computing continue to grow. While there are still a huge amount of physical servers installed base, x86 based VMs continue taking share in the datacenter. The physical servers in this context includes both x86 and non x86 (UNIX and Mainframe).
Non-x86 still accounts for around US$ 8 billions a year in 2014, so as virtualization professionals we still have a lot of target to work on. It will take many good years. The migration to X86 are certainly more complex than standard P2V, as application migration is required. But that’s also makes it more suitable for seasoned and experienced IT Pros. If it was easy, your job would have been replaced by a much more junior guy. There is already a post that drives that message, so I’m not going to elaborate.
2014 saw Virtualization entered the realm of Storage and Network. Yes, I know it certainly happened before 2014. In 2014 it became much clearer that Storage and Network will follow Server. They will all be virtualized. I think it won’t take Storage and Network very long, as the vendors & industry have learned from Server virtualization. This is a good news for us Virtualization Pros, as that means the job scope is widening and the game becomes more interesting.
Looking forward, I think in 2015, it does not take a prediction to see that NSX, VSAN, EVO will grow fast. It’s now a matter of projection. At my personal level, I’ve had customers buying NSX and VSAN in 2014. From my discussions with customers and partners, more will buy in 2015 as the technology becomes more common. The upcoming release will also help. I like what I see in the 2015 roadmap.
Related to virtualization, I see that Fibre Channel will continue its decline. 10 GE and SSD make the case for distributed storage compelling, especially at the entry level and midrange. Enhancements in vSphere in 2015 will also strengthen the case for IP Storage.
There are also other areas that virtualization can address better. One of them is Management. As datacenter becomes to have more VMs than physical servers, the management tools have to be built for virtualization. It has to know the differences between VM and physical servers well. In 2014, I’ve worked with quite a number of customers to help them operationalize vCenter Operations 5.x. Once the dashboards are tailored for each role, they found v5 useful. vRealize Operations 6 brings many enhancements that customers will find the product even more indispensable. I like what I see in 6.0. Knowing the roadmap for 2015, I think it’s going to be better (more complete features, easier to use, etc).
All in all, I am excited about 2015. The evolution continues, and I think the pace is accelerating. What started as server virtualization many years ago is now touching the entire datacenter.
What’s your take for 2015? How do you think it will impact your career? How do you plan to take advantage of the expansion of virtualization to Storage, Network, DR, Management, etc.? I’m keen to hear your thought. You can drop me an email at e1 at vmware dot com.
Have a great adventure in the bigger Virtual World in 2015!
[Update: I did a follow up post here]