It used to be that I could install a server OS, get it patched, and get it connected to a client’s network in about 4 hours on a good day. That was pretty quick. But if I can’t get it done today in 2 hours, I’ve been slacking.
That is today’s technology for you. That perception sets our expectations. It is pretty much expected with virtualization technologies such as VMware, HyperV, and XenServer that we should be able to do just about anything from a server perspective, in the amount of time it takes to finish filling out a request form. Need a Web server? Spin one up. Need a print server? Spin one up. Need more drive space? Just add it from the management console.
The reality is that the road from perception to expectation to reality is what drives the industry – and that is a good thing. If I can do something in 2 hours that used to take me 4, I can utilize that extra time to get more involved with my clients’ needs. Those needs can be anything from “Why is it slow?” (see my next article/blog) to “Which virtualization platform is better?” or “Should I move my server(s) to the cloud?” Although focusing on fixing immediate issues is a benefit, spending time on long-term initiatives is what will pay off in the long term.
We see it every day. Being able to “spin up” a server in the cloud in a matter of an hour gives clients readiness capabilities they would otherwise not have. The greatest impact is when there is an immediate need. Take for instance, the need for a “standby” server, as was the case for many in recent years (see “Storm Alfred” and “Hurricane Sandy”). Those that had utilized the “fast” of today to its fullest had minimal impact to their business.
The fast movement has been going on for some time. Gordeon E. Moore made noted an observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. This is otherwise known as Moore’s Law, which essentially says that the speed of computing will double every two years. That was in 1965; I hadn’t even been born yet.
I know that the fast will get even faster. What would you like to see get faster? I know what I would like to see. I want to hit the power button on my laptop and have it ready for me in 20 seconds – maybe that is asking too much. Time will tell.
I do know one thing; it won’t be long before we have an iPhone that can produce 1.21 Gigawatts (#fluxcapacitor.)