CA World: Virtualisation the future of data centres

CA's chief technology officer (CTO) Al Nugent used the precursory day of the company's user conference in Las Vegas to lay out his vision of how today's data centres may look tomorrow and beyond.

Users are often blinded by the overt nature of technology, which gets in between them and their business goals. But that won't be the case in the future, with data centres that mix the physical and virtual worlds and make use of automation so that tech is much more behind the scenes, according to Nugent.

"It's not unfair to say that technology today is far too visible. Part of the reason for this is the dramatic complexity that's associated with [it]. It is without a doubt the thing that is driving most of the change in the industry today," he said, speaking at a press conference at CA World.

"Technological complexity is absolutely a tidal wave and it just keeps coming and coming."

In order for businesses to cope with this increasing complexity, models will need to change. But companies won't necessarily go down just one particular road, according to Nugent.

"In the business world, we will see a shift from be in the same room' to be on the same channel.' Everything we will see is going to be a hybrid. You will not just see alternative delivery or traditional delivery [mechanisms]. Or monolithic or composite[This] demands a toolbox with many different things in it and we have to take out the right tool to save the right problem," he said.

"Unless we get very good at this, unless we get much, much better than we are today, IT will still be thought of as the enemy. The importance in the future of business and IT's relationship cannot be ignored."

Unsurprisingly, the technology du jour, virtualisation, will have a starring role in the data centre's evolution.

"The data centre of the future is going to have a number of interesting characteristics. Some parts will be physically present, other parts will just be available out there by some other means. Virtualisation, without a doubt, will continue to play an important role in the data centre of the future," Nugent said.

"But it's no longer just a cost savings opportunity. Virtualisation is going be one of the dominant operational models."

Nugent added: "The whole point here is to try and make that technology a little bit less visible. [To] make the business activity the most important and fundamental thing the end user sees, not all of the tech that seems to be getting in their way and perhaps not necessarily enhancing their productivity."

Click here to read more coverage from CA World 08.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.