I’ll be tweeting about Flexible IT today at the invitation of NetApp. I’d like to open this “Twitterview” up to anyone else who wants to join the conversation, lest this become a useless exercise in talking to ourselves. We’ll get online at 1 Eastern/10 Pacific (that’s 10:30 PM for my friends in Kolkata) and will be using the #FlexibleIT hashtag.
Note: If you hate this sort of thing, you can just unfollow SFoskett, ValB00, and VStewed for today. Or ignore it – that works, too. Nobody is breaking your arm demanding that you pay attention to us.
What is Flexible IT?
The future of IT won’t tolerate fixed-size LUNs, fixed-location servers, and months-long lead times. In fact it won’t care about LUNs, servers, or the practicalities of equipment at all! Application developers have seen next-generation platforms – Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine, Force.com, and SpringSource come to mind.
Read Flexible IT and the Path to the Services Future as a primer to my thinking on real flexible IT!
This Twitterview will no-doubt focus on what I consider to be tactical progress: Server virtualization, converged networking, and infrastructure-as-a-service. This is great, for what it is, and is a step in the right direction for an industry that spends most of its time sitting 20 steps back on the trail. But I’ll be taking a decidedly revolutionary tone here, and I’m not sure what folks will make of that.
Who Are These People?
If you’re reading my blog, you probably know who I am. But just in case, let me take a minute to introduce myself: I’m completely independent, yet actively participate in the IT industry. I work for myself, helping individuals and businesses understand the future direction of IT. I get paid by vendors for consulting services, by media companies for writing and speaking, and organize Gestalt IT and the Tech Field Day events. My Twitter name, predictably, is @SFoskett.
This Twitterview is organized by NetApp, the number-two external storage company. They sell a variety of enterprise storage systems, with a historical focus on network-attached storage (NAS) with their “Filer” line. They have lots of other stuff to sell now, too, including some cool cloud storage acquired with Bycast.
NetApp will be sending two folks into the discussion. “Cloud Czar”, Val Bercovici, is generally respected for his strategic view of IT, which I particularly appreciate. The company’s in-house server virtualization expert, Vaughn Stewart, will also be joining in.
Judging from past discussions, others will be chiming in, too. I crashed a previous Twitterview, and I invite you to do the same. Let’s start a real discussion here!
NetApp is trying to start “a larger industry discussion on the importance of preparing for future IT technology shifts, defining flexible IT, and storage’s role in these topics.” I’m in agreement with that in principle, so I’m joining this discussion. I’d like you to join in today as well!
Note: NetApp is not paying me to do this. Although they are sponsoring Gestalt IT‘s November 2010 Tech Field Day event, which I organize, I receive no direct or indirect compensation for this Twitterview. I’m doing it because I’m interested in experimenting with the Twitterview concept and because I want to bring about positive change in enterprise IT.