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My IT Crystal Ball

Another year older… and hopefully another year wiser! As I look back at 2012, it’s amazing how much has changed in our industry. Cloud computing continued to top CIO’s lists of IT priorities, our mobile workforce kept expanding, and companies started to realize the shift underway towards the fully software-defined datacenter.

But it won’t stop there. It never does. I expect we’ll see even more change in 2013, and here are some of my predictions for the industry as I look into my IT crystal ball:

Big Data (or, more appropriately, “Big Analytics”): I’ve heard it and you’ve heard it – there’s an explosion of data out there! But what companies tried to figure out in 2012 was how to deal with massive amounts of data. VMware made strides in this area with Project Serengeti, our latest version of VMware Data Director and more. The adoption of big data technologies continues to grow as companies get their arms around their data dilemmas along with the opportunities available to those that make sense from it all. My colleague Richard McDougall will share his 2013 predictions for the big data space, so stay tuned that blog.

Networking & Security: We all saw the SDN space explode in 2012. It has become the talk of the town, and VMware has made great strides with VMware vCloud Network and Security offerings. We took that conversation to a whole new level with the acquisition of Nicira. As one of the core components of hybrid cloud computing, we took steps to remove “networking” as the bottleneck behind workload mobility across multiple clouds and organizations will experience the benefits of this next year. Check out Allwyn Sequeira’s predictions for the networking and security space in 2013.

Storage: What a year for storage! The ecosystem continued to make strides with storage technologies to support highly virtualized and cloud environments. At VMworld 2012 you heard of the early work around VMware’s storage directions including our Distributed Storage preview, and I expect to see even more customers virtualize their storage environment and move towards a more policy-based management approach. These steps are just the first of many announcements you’ll see from VMware and our partners in 2013 as we continue on the path towards software-defined storage. Look out for a blog from Christos Karamanolis where he’ll share his 2013 storage predictions.

Management: Can you say heterogeneity? That seems to be where it’s at these days. While VMware and others feel a homogenous environment is the most efficient approach, we recognize customers will have heterogeneous pools of infrastructure…and this isn’t going away. The ability to deploy and move x86 workloads between private and public clouds (VMware, AWS, OpenStack and others) is becoming a standard practice for organizations of all sizes as they benefit from the agility, flexibility, efficiency and reduced costs of a hybrid cloud environment. But with multiple clouds comes the need to manage this multi-cloud world. VMware announced updated cloud management products at VMworld Europe, and we’re supporting our customers manage their heterogeneous environments – and I expect the industry to continue on this path in 2013. Look out for a blog from my colleague Kit Colbert where he’ll share his predictions for the management space in 2013.

Hybrid Cloud: As the adoption of cloud grew in 2012, our customers’ workloads were not only in private clouds but in public clouds too. A special shout out goes to the recent vCloud Connector 2.0 release for the help there! We’re seeing enterprises move to a hybrid cloud model, leveraging and benefiting from reliable resources offered by our vCloud service provider partners. We welcomed T-Systems and OVH to VMware’s vCloud Datacenter Services program in 2012 – and also introduced vCloud Service Evaluation, where customers can “test the waters” with our vCloud partners. I expect to see even more customers adopt a hybrid cloud model in 2013 as they see the awesome benefits experienced by their peers this past year.

Mobile Workforce: We continue to enable the mobile workforce to use the device of their choice while staying productive, and I expect you’ll see more advancement here in 2013. At VMworld, we spoke about the innovation happening in support of our end-user computing vision including all the awesome work happening on the mobile side. The ability to manage a desktop and device will continue to be a hot topic for enterprises next year, as employees are on the move with their laptops, smartphones, iPads and more –and vendors will continue to offer and innovate solutions to address this rapid change. Scott Davis also shared his predictions for the end-user computing space.

Small and Midsize Business: If you’re an IT pro at a small and midsize business (SMB), you know all too well that the demands on IT – keeping business up and running, balancing IT supply with IT demand, and being able to respond quickly to business needs – are the same regardless of the size of your business. Fueled by growing demand for business agility and high availability/disaster recovery, virtualization has gone mainstream amongst small and midsize business.  The challenge SMBs face is to do it all with a small team.  In 2013 advances in cloud-based management solutions will make it even easier for companies to solve these problems and focus on growing their business. You can read more about the unique ways small IT teams are meeting the demands of their business on our SMB blog.

All in all, we’ve had a great 2012 and I’m even more optimistic about what’s ahead in 2013 as VMware and our partners make even more strides across these and other fun technology areas. I look forward to watching our customers benefit from these cool developments and watch their environments evolve.


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