Beyond just being a technology, virtualization is beginning to drive shifts in the way people organize their IT departments. It opens the door for non-networking IT professionals to solve their data mobility challenges without necessarily involving the networking department. Emerging concepts like software-defined data acceleration and network function virtualization (NFV) will help storage and application administrators move and accelerate their workloads with point-and-click simplicity from within the virtual domain.
We are beginning to see the early stages of IT organizational shifts happening today. Functions that were once the sole domain of the network administrator are now becoming part of the virtual administrator. And for network administrators looking to deploy services and features in a virtual environment, they are quickly finding the need to learn the skill set of the person who manages virtual machines (VMs).
Widespread IT organizational change will not happen overnight, and every organization adapts to change differently and at varying paces. But one thing is certain: Over the next 12 to 18 months, we will see a blurring of the boundaries that exist today between the silos of networking, applications and storage. Accompanying this will be a greater degree of cross-training for network and storage managers to begin getting trained on new virtualization technologies.
The good news for networking professionals is that there is plenty of time to prepare for this change. For networking IT professionals today looking to prepare their careers, it is important to get trained and familiar with the concept of virtualization and virtual technology now. In particular, they should be looking at virtual appliances and deployment of networking services in a virtual environment. I recommend picking one particular service, such as security or WAN optimization, and piloting that technology by rolling it out to the organization in small doses. This is crucial to helping learn how to do networking in a virtual world.
When you combine this shifting of IT roles with the growing volumes of data, more stringent disaster recovery requirements and applications moving to the cloud, it’s clear that a new set of IT professionals from a variety of disciplines will be tasked with moving their data and workloads quickly over longer distances. Simplicity is the key, and if you’re a Silver Peak customer, the outlook is exciting. Silver Peak is at the forefront simplifying data acceleration with a software-based model that allows nearly anyone to overcome the distance, quality and capacity challenges of moving data over distance.
Watch the David Hughes video interview “Virtualization Driving Shifts in IT Roles.”