Virtual Clouds – How Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009 Consolidate

Gartner just published in their blog the  Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009 .

The list is  Virtualization, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Green IT, Unified Communications, Social Software and Social Networking, Web Oriented Architecture,  Enterprise Mashups,  Specialized Systems, Servers – Beyond Blade.

The interesting point , In my opinion, is that many of these technologies are actually supporting each other, making the trend even stronger. I’ll describe why this is so and than use my company to give a subjective example.

I believe virtualization, cloud computing, Web Oriented Architecture and enterprise mashups have a  a great synergy.

Virtualization (#1) key strength is in abstraction. It removes the coupling of hardware and software.

Cloud computing (#3) takes the abstraction to the next level. Now, no hardware is needed at all.

The problem with most clouds is that they do not allow reuse of existing enterprise applications.However, Virtual Clouds can run any application from the data center , but do it on on the internet, on demand. Basically, if you have a cloud of VMWARE or Hyper-V servers you could move application between cloud and Enterprise data center on demand.

To make it more interesting, the simple fact that clouds are on the net (#7) makes them the Ideal to create enterprise mashup (#8).

With the right security and networking in place it is possible to to create hybrid enterprise applications which have one leg in the cloud and one leg in the virtual cloud.

In IT Structures we have built a virtual cloud to support the business application of virtual sales. Our service offers collaboration environment ( #6) for sales engineers and ISV  to run proof of concepts for enterprise applications in the cloud. We are using virtual private networking (VPN) technology to connect clouds and private data centers.

Their are Clouds in the Horizon - Good Ones

There are Clouds in the Horizon - Good Ones

The cool thing is that because of virtualization it is much easier to replicate, provision and allocate resource in a multi-tenant environment while keeping the environments separated. Building a service , rather than a product uses economies of scale to  reuse resources during dead hours.

The cloud location over the web means that Proof Of Concepts can be accessed by vendors, IT, executives and contractors as opposed to the traditional closed garden approach. The on demand nature lets the POC start in five minutes, which is a win-win for both the vendors and the enterprises.

Creating a virtual cloud is not trivial, the security, storgae, performance,networking and elasticity are really really hard to obtain.But once it is done, it can offer many  revolutionary new services. To wrap up,  Gartner is right on target this time. The only thing they got wrong is that they published Just three technologies this year 🙂

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