The way we think, design and consume computing can change a lot in the next few years if Gartner has got it right.
As the analyst firm predicts, by 2017, Web-scale IT will be an architectural approach found operating in as much as 50 per cent of global enterprises, something that is drastically up from less than 10 percent in 2013.
“Large cloud services providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc., are reinventing the way in which IT services can be delivered,” said Cameron Haight, research vice president at Gartner.
“Data centers are designed with an industrial engineering perspective that looks for every opportunity to reduce cost and waste. This goes beyond redesigning facilities to be more energy efficient to also include in-house design of key hardware components such as servers, storage and networks. Web-oriented architectures allow developers to build very flexible and resilient systems that recover from failure more quickly.”
Now that could also mean that open and freely available blueprints of data center facilities and associated server, storage and networking hardware are lowering costs and disrupting the traditional IT vendor landscape.
“IT organizations have historically had a limited number of vendors from which to source their hardware, whether the need was for servers, storage devices or network equipment. This began to change when large, cloud services providers, because of their extreme needs for scale and cost control, began to design and assemble infrastructure components,” said Mr. Haight. “These devices were different than those sold to traditional enterprises, because they did not have some of the basic features often available in commercial products.”
Regardless of the cloud services company, a common element among all these devices was an organizational requirement to run an open-source OS, not only to reduce costs, but also to increase the control of IT environments.
This brings several ramifications for the traditional enterprise. First, and perhaps most importantly, an open approach provides more options for hardware (and data center) equipment design and procurement — where scale-out architectures make sense.
Gartner also augured that by 2020, 25 per cent of global enterprise CIOs will have had previous involvement in corporate Web-scale IT initiatives, up from less than five per cent in 2013.
Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting by rethinking positions across several dimensions.