I bought it, I *might need it*, why should I share it?

Last week I met with around 25 customers at a Cisco, NetApp, VMware event. A couple of highlights

Virtualization of Mission Critical Applications

When I asked the audience how many of them are virtualizing mission critical applications or databases 90% of them raised their hand. In fact a lot of the questions during the A&A session where around people and processes, cloud computing best practices, and other more in depth technical questions that told me I was looking at a sample of pretty advanced customers. This was refreshing.

As I often talked about on this blog, virtualizing mission critical applications is the second major step in the customer virtualization journey and although I still run into customers who are not there yet, the number of the ones who are squarely in this phase increases every day as more and more customers are getting into the resistance is futile stage 🙂

The second highlight was this quote from a customer who presented their experience. When talking about the resistance from the line of business about sharing infrastructure with other applications/LOBs the customer said that the typical attitude is

“I bought it, I *might need it*, why should I share it?”

Where do I begin???

This is a super common scenario in both private and public cloud computing environments and it points to both the need to consolidate more to achieve better utilization and lowering costs, as well as the ability to pool resources and allocate them dynamically to different applications based on load and service level agreements. This is all possible today with vSphere and partner solutions such as secure multi-tenant from Cisco, NetApp and VMware but the reality is that there is still a lot of education that needs to happen out there to get people informed about what is possible and letting them go of hugging their servers 😉

As I type this post, I am sitting in a room with one of our professional service gurus and he is telling me a story about this one company that is going un-named here which has a “Shared infrastructure Group”. What this group really does is to consolidate all their servers into the same “shared’ room… not quite the shared infrastructure required for cloud computing. It is more like share space and air conditioning. 🙂

Again, more education needed


2 thoughts on “I bought it, I *might need it*, why should I share it?

  1. I am wondering how many of the customers you spoke with can maintain hardware inventory and charge back business units for services based on actual usage. In my conversations with many enterprise customers, this seems to be an important factor in their ability to adopt more dynamic resource allocation.

    • in reality, very few. Only the more sophisticated ones. I would also argue that they first need to be able to allocate things dynamically, then figure out how to charge-bak (or at least show-back) for it.

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