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Is Enterprise IT getting boring?

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30-May-2012

Not just the IT world, but 800 million average users were glued to the news about Facebook IPO in past few days.

Now a days the talks, blogs and news are more about the social media, mobile apps and mobile phones. Particularly few big names Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter have become so common in the IT industry.

It is almost like, “does any one care about the traditional IT or about the real IT systems that power these ‘shiny’ trends? “

Once upon a time ( in late 90 and early 2000) open source was one big thing that was impacting IT and so much was being written about it and about the companies such as Google, Red Hat, IBM and even Microsoft (for its anti open source stand). No more. Linux and open source has become so much like ‘business as usual’. So it is not fashionable to talk about it.

But when you look deeper into the enterpriseIT it is going through some very fundamental changes and they are exciting and interesting. Here are few of them :

Datacentre vs Cloud : The whole cloud discussion has created lot of ‘cloudy’ effect. Even though there are discussions about ‘what is cloud’ etc , the ‘cloud’ way of consuming technology is firmly taking the roots. It is changing the datacentres in many ways. First of all now you have a choice at deployment stage as well during your development phase.  Then you can bring the ‘cloud’ service within your datacentre. ‘Cloud’ architecture is going to give business teams flexibility and make them accountable for their IT spend.

BYOD : Bring-Your-Own-Device is going to alter the way enterprises would have to look into various aspects such as client side security, policies, network connectivity, application performance / rendering on the plethora of devices. Never before the devices as small as mobile phones, were on the radar of CIO. Now, they have to taken them into IT plan.

Database : There three  trends that are coming up which would be very interesting for EntepriseIT. One is the ‘Cloud Database’, 2nd  is the in-memory database and third is the big data.  While these are early days for all three of them, but the prospects of these technologies is bright. There are early adopters and they are making waves. A lot being written about big data and analytics. SAP’s Hana is promising dramatized performance improvement through in-memory database and EnterpriseDB’s big push of Cloud Database is making impact on the large applications. All of these trends would mean different ways of writing applications, architecting them differently from network and hardware point of view. Already the vendors such as SAP and Intel are working together to bring the database closer to the CPU and memory subsystems. It would mean efforts spent traditionally on fine tunning of database or queries might not be needed to that extent and can be spent more on application functionalities.

CPUs and server architecture : The advancements in silicon are going to fundamentally change server technologies. With the successful test of transistor on a single atom, the very prospects of miniature systems with huge processing power and consuming fraction of power are realistic in near future. The current incremental advancements in CPU designs with 22nm based CPUs already in market are making a good difference. The advancements in cooling systems ( water based cooling systems), in networking technologies is certainly going to make datacentres smaller and efficient.

All these trends would mean very different skills sets, very different considerations for Enterprise architecture. That prospect of disruption is making it exciting.

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30-May-2012