In a few days the year 2011 will be with us, and just a decade ago, in 2001, while AOL was busy buying Time Warner for $162 billion, IBM had just started an autonomic computing initiative.
The intent of autonomic computing was to address the increasing complexity of computer systems by enabling self-management technologies. Salesforce.com had just launched its service in 2000, and in 2001 it had generated a mere $5 million in revenue. Who could have guessed that 10 years later it would go on to become a Fortune 500 company?
Today, we all know how the AOL and Salesforce.com stories turned out. What is not as clear is how the autonomic computing story has played out over that time.
After 2001, other IBM initiatives followed, IT Simplification, Consolidation, and Virtualization. All born of the need to manage this growing technological complexity that over the last 10 years largely outstripped SMBs ability to leverage IT and compete at the same level with larger organizations, that is, until cloud computing leveled the playing field (to some degree).
Throughout 2010 we have seen the ongoing business shift towards cloud computing, and those underlying technologies and environments continue to grow in complexity. In other words, the original challenge remains the same.
The number of technological abstractions continues to grow, and while this may provide for an ever greater number of creative alternatives, solutions, and possibilities in the delivery of IT applications as a service, it will become increasingly difficult to manage tomorrow’s highly virtualized data center environments.
Ultimately, in order to deal with this growing technological complexity, new, intelligent, real-time autonomic tools capable of self-management, awareness, discovery and analysis will be needed for growing cloud computing environments.
Which brings me to a recent discussion on this very topic with Daniel Heimlich, Marketing Vice President for Netuitive. In that discussion it became clear to me that the Netuitive team truly understood not only the magnitude of the industry challenge, given the ascent of the cloud, but it also understood what it will take to go from existing analytics platforms, designed to manage traditional legacy compute environments, to an intelligent, real-time, autonomic analytics platform designed for cloud computing environments. Netuitive is definitely a key player to watch in this segment, and those in the business of managing cloud environments would be well served to keep a watchful eye on future Netuitive developments as we welcome in the new year.
A tectonic shift in cloud management is emerging, and Netuitive is well positioned to capitalize on that changing landscape.