When the data centre meets the cloud

The data centre's not dead, it's going to be reinvented in the cloud era

Predictions that cloud computing will kill the data centre industry couldn’t be further from the truth, according to Schneider Electric and VMware, who showcased one of their Cloud/Data Centre hybrids at Data Centre 2011 in Nice .
 
When the cloud hits the data centre, it will give the physical elements of these old fashioned processing factories the same fluency as virtual machines, said Jan-Willem Lammers , VMware’s business solutions architect. 
 
Schneider Electric’s software developers in France used the open APIs in VMware to integrate its facilities management systems with VMware. The end result is that the physical layer of a data centre – including elements such as the heating, lighting, cooling systems and power consumption – are now integrated with the virtualisation systems.
 
The upshot of which is that many of the old fashioned, expensive to manage processes of data centre management can be automated and given the powers of flexibility and adaptability enjoyed by software.
 
Ali Chams, Schneider Electric France’s software manager gave this example of how cloud/data centre cross ferlilisation works.  If a fan breaks down in a data centre, that can lead to a build up of heat. That heat will eventually take a server out, and you will either have to call out an engineer - at great expense – or experience a system crash. Schneider’s new /VMware hybrid uses management information pick up by the physical layer management system (Infrastruxure) and feeds it to the virtual manager, VMware. Acting on this intelligence, VMware can automatically move a virtual server away from the hardware at risk of overheating, and port it into a safer haven elsewhere in the data centre. 

“This is the first of many examples where cloud computing can be used to empower the data centre,” said Chams. 
 
Despite predictions to the contrary, from the likes of CA, Sun and Microsoft, this sector is actually thriving in the age of cloud computing said one analyst. “The great attraction of the data centre is that it provides the one physical port in the virtual economy,” said Steve Wallage, MD of research firm BroadGroup, “and that physicality can be tremendously reassuring.”

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