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Ubiquitous computing becoming a reality

By Tracy Burrows, ITWeb contributor.
Johannesburg, 18 Sep 2013

This is enabled by cloud computing and the creation of vast ecosystems of co-creativity, say experts.

Ubiquitous computing is fast becoming a reality, enabled by cloud computing and the creation of vast ecosystems of co-creativity. The enterprise virtualisation journey is moving to virtualised storage and networking, in turn leading to the truly software-defined data centre. And there’s no stopping the mobile workforce.

This emerged at the VMware Executive Forum, staged at Melrose Arch this week, when IT businessman and thought leader Stafford Masie outlined his vision on the future of computing, while VMware experts elaborated on the company’s strategy to take enterprises into this future.

Xhead= Future smurfs

Masie said the Internet is rapidly evolving into a sensory membrane of ubiquitous, real-time, federated subsystems (smurfs) that deliver rich services and applications. Today, he said, business success does not depend on size. “Now, it’s about collaboration; building platforms for ecosystems of co-creativity.

”He noted that technology was moving away from people, and was becoming ever-present, much in the way electricity had initially been owned by the rich, but had eventually become a utility. “We are moving away from the burden of ownership to the benefits of access,” he said.

Matt Piercy, VP for northern EMEA at VMware, said VMware customers were moving towards this ubiquitous computing approach.

He said VMware is seeing increasing interest from its customers in getting more from their existing virtualisation investments, and are turning their attention to network and storage virtualisation. “Globally, the trends are now to look to the software-defined data centre (SDDC), software-defined networking (SDN) and the hybrid cloud, to deliver greater bottom-line benefits for business,” said Piercy. “Then, enterprises must manage this environment, and inevitably, this leads to automation of the environment,” he said.

The cloud journey will also be accelerated with the launch of the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service, set to be introduced in Africa in the first half of next year, said Piercy. The service is expected to lower the barrier to entry, overcoming cost, compliance and operational concerns.

“We are forecasting a potentially bigger market in Africa than in traditional markets,” he said, “possibly because many enterprises plan to leapfrog directly into the cloud.”

Wayne Biehn, regional manager for Africa at VMware, noted that changing just the compute component from a hardware to a soft state model was saving VMware customers more than $10 billion. Extending this up the stack allowed for even more significant savings, he noted.

But the benefits extend beyond cost savings. “The software-defined data centre – where IT is delivered as a service – will accelerate time to market, time to innovation and time to revenue,” he pointed out.

Wayne Biehn
Wayne Biehn, Regional manager, Africa: West East Central Southern Africa (WECA), at VMware
James Campbell
James Campbell, Server platform lead, Investec
Stafford Masie
Stafford Masie, Leading global IT trend tracker and thought leader
Matt Piercy
Matt Piercy, Vice president, Northern Region, EMEA, at VMware

BYOD here to stay

Piercy also delivered key findings from VMware’s Mobile Rebel research. He said a survey of 1 500 IT decision-makers and 3 000 users had found that 64% of users were dissatisfied with their companies’ mobile solutions, while 43% of IT decision-makers admitted they could not provide the mobile solutions their users needed.

Sixty percent of IT decision-makers recognised that they had no control over the company’s data on devices, but most felt the benefits of mobility outweighed the risks. Thirty-four percent of users said they would leave their companies if they were not allowed to use their own devices.

Piercy said: “We recommend that companies embrace mobility, but introduce a flexible mobile management solution and create dialogue with employees on the risks.”


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VMware (NYSE:VMW), the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, delivers customer-proven solutions that accelerate IT by reducing complexity and enabling more flexible, agile service delivery. VMware enables enterprises to adopt a cloud model that addresses their unique business challenges. VMware’s approach accelerates the transition to cloud computing while preserving existing investments and improving security and control. With more than 500,000 customers and 55,000 partners, VMware solutions help organisations of all sizes lower costs, increase business agility and ensure freedom of choice. ®

Matt PiercyTowards the software-defined data centre
By Tracy Burrows, ITWeb contributor
Johannesburg, 22 Aug 2013
The next stage in the virtualisation journey is to virtualise storage and networking, leading towards the truly software-defined data centre, says Matt Piercy, VP for Northern EMEA at VMware.


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