The Most Powerful Reaction in IT

by Aug 25, 2016

Lately, I’ve been seeing a particular video depicting simple yet amazing chemical reactions making its way through my social media feeds. Maybe you've seen it too?

This video got me thinking about a similarly simple yet powerful IT reaction. This particular combination has done more to alter the landscape of IT over the last several years than any other single innovation or movement. The reaction produced by combining these two elements has not only spurred countless billions of dollars in startup company valuation, it has also led to the downfall of companies that did not recognize the reaction while bringing incredible innovation and change to the IT space overall.

The two IT elements I'm speaking of are cloud and automation.

Cloud by itself is simply cheaper computing that uses OPEX dollars instead of CAPEX dollars.

Automation by itself is just scripts that remove humans from the picture.

When you combine these two, amazing things take place! It's automation that transformed managed services and remote hosting into the self-service, elastic compute services that we know so well today including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Oracle Cloud, Google Compute, etc. In the ten years since Amazon introduced Amazon Web Services, literally billions upon billions of IT expenditures have unalterably changed forever – and spending in these areas continues to grow.

It's hard not to marvel at the innovation created by this amazing IT reaction. In those brief 10 years, we have progressed from Infrastructure as a Service to Platform as a Service to Software as a Service … all the way to my favorite, Functions as a Service (FaaS). FaaS provides serverless functions or services that you can call together … using automation … to accomplish things more quickly and flexibly than ever before. The key services providing FaaS today are Amazon Lambda and Azure Functions. These services take the cloud and automation combination to a new level — a semi-autonomous system that reacts to the millions of real-time events sent between cloud Functions, together performing advanced actions or mashups that enable a new frontier in computing. Combine this with machine learning and AI, and it's hard not to think of Skynet!

For this new wave of computing to truly change IT, it will need to be open. To afford the widest variety of combinations in cloud and automation, services should be able to bind to other services based on the function they provide, without regard to their source. Enterprise companies that embrace this shift will grow, and those that are slow to embrace it will contract. Microsoft is one company that is embracing the change. The Microsoft led by Satya Nadella is not afraid to make big shifts for the future. They are not only repositioning themselves as a cloud first company — they are becoming an open company, and this not by buying an open source company that they run separately like certain other large competitors, but they are embracing the very open platforms that once threatened their existence. The new Microsoft is a fan of Linux. They have announced that their prized SQL Server database management platform is being ported to Linux. And more than a third of their cloud servers host Linux services, while two-thirds of the software in Azure runs on open-source software. On Aug. 18, 2016, Microsoft announced that they are porting PowerShell, arguably the best automation framework for Windows, to Linux. And they are turning it Open Source!

This Microsoft has seen the power of automation and cloud and is fueling the reaction instead of putting on their goggles and turning their head.

IDERA is proud to partner with Microsoft as our common customers embrace this shift to the next generation of computing. Our solutions for SQL Server help customers adopt the cloud, starting with SQL Diagnostic Manager that monitors both Azure SQL and Amazon RDS, to SQL Safe Backup that backs up and restores to and from Azure Blob Storage and Amazon S3, just to name a few.

Do you see a promising reaction of cloud and automation in your organization? Sound off in the comments to tell us how you think these elements will transform your IT.