VMware says the cloud business model will undergo big changes

Enterprise blockchain may still be in experimental mode, but it could soon change the way applications and systems are designed, moving from architectures managed by individual organizations to architectures where applications and data are shared and secured across multiple organizations – in essence, the form is really decentralized computing.

There are many cloud service providers, but even more data centers. Are all these data centers with countless underused computing power an untapped reservoir of cloud computing power that can flatten the cloud ecosystem?

That’s according to Keith Colbert, CTO of VMware, who sees the future as much more decentralized than it is now. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Keith Colbert at the VMware Explore conference in San Francisco last week, where he spoke about the factors that unlock enterprise computing.

Increasingly decentralized environments

According to Keith Colbert, one of the emerging scenarios is applications built on top of blockchain or distributed ledger technologies, with their ability to provide trust between multiple participants. “Enterprise blockchain fits our direction very well,” he said.

Today, the focus is on distributed applications that are built and run using cloud components or building blocks based on Kubernetes. However, today we are moving more towards a decentralized environment, he noted. Distributed architectures are supported by a single organization, while decentralized architectures are supported by multiple organizations.

While both architectures support multiple application instances and a common database, “the big difference is that in a decentralized architecture, some of these instances will be managed by different companies rather than a single organization,” he explained.

This means that these organizations “probably won’t have complete trust in each other,” continued Keith Colbert. “This is where blockchain comes in to support these use cases.”

According to Keith Colbert, “Airbnb’s computing power.”

While blockchain-based decentralized systems still make up a small part of VMware’s offerings, Keith Colbert said he expects to grow as the technology advances.

Cloud computing itself is a mixed bag and will remain so. Even though public cloud computing is a big part of the future for many IT plans, Keith Colbert says that on-premise environments still have their place.

“Even if a company was born in the cloud or is moving there, we often find that it brings elements back there. Often, for reasons of cost, compliance, security, locality, or sovereignty, it’s best to leave everything in place. Hosting everything in the public cloud is the wrong decision, keeping everything in place is the wrong decision. On the contrary, to be smart, you should say: well, what are the requirements of the application and where is the best place to fulfill all these requirements? »

From a data center perspective, technologies now exist to support networked cloud resources, using not only the resources of cloud providers, but also the power of shared private data centers offered in the open spot market – a kind of Airbnb for computing. capacity. This includes the ability to “run a virtual machine that an administrator can access,” said Keith Colbert. “We can apply this cryptographically, which we could not do a few years ago thanks to changes in processor cores. »

VMware has already launched a “cloud exchange” in which unused capacity in corporate data centers could be sold on the open market. According to Keith Colbert, this project was a learning experience for the company and helped identify potential problems.

The main challenge faced by VMware cloud service providers and platform partners during the pilot was security – moving data to unknown locations. “We can’t write unencrypted data to another customer’s hard drive,” said Keith Colbert. “This is a red line – we should have an encryption system. We also need a way to prevent an operator from accessing the virtual machine or its data both during execution and at rest. »

The role of the CTO is changing

Ensuring security also creates “responsibility issues for customer operators,” he continues. “They won’t want to sign indemnity clauses and a whole bunch of legal stuff and stuff that we might stumble on too. »

Keith Colbert also mentioned the evolution of the role of his profession, Chief Technology Officer, which often overlaps with that of CIOs and Chief Digital Officers. “CTO is one of the least well-defined roles in the industry,” he said. “It could be a VP of Engineering, a Super Sales Engineer, an Evangelist, or a Product Manager… or you could be more of an individual contributor, an influencer, something of an architect. »

Keith Colbert oversees innovation, ESG, and the core platforms and services that support the provider’s business units. “In addition, I provide the overall technical strategy for the company: this is where we need to go as a company, and this is the blueprint for what we need to do as a company.”

Source: .com

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