My name is Jeramiah Dooley, and I'm frustrated. Isn't that the perfect way to start a blog? I work for a regional infrastructure-services company in the South East, and as the Director of Managed Services I'm frustrated at the lack of information and dialog around virtualization from a Service Provider standpoint.
Virtualization in the SP sector is one of the most disruptive, opportunity-laden and fun (yes, fun) technologies to come along in recent memory. Unfortunately, while the major virtualization vendors make the required statements about multi-tenancy and viability in an SP environment, there is a real lack of good, community-based, industry-specific discussion.
For those of you wondering why it's important to look at Virtualization from an SP standpoint, it's because there are some significant challenges that we face that aren't seen, or aren't seen at the same level as in the Enterprise. The name of the game isn't cost-savings or capital-avoidance (although those can play some part), it's revenue generation. Everything revolves around MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue), and the companies that can lower the cost of sales, be quick to market, quick to provision and quick to reclaim, and who can scale without being wasteful of either existing investment or staffing cost are going to win. Regardless of niche, regardless of strategy, regardless of size or market cap, every SP has the same challenges and the same goals. Why isn't there more discussion around how to get there?
In every company there is the "secret sauce", and in that regard my employer is no different. There will be no discussion here in any detail about back end systems that are used to manage customers, contracts and taskings. There will be no talk about M&A, no talk about financials and no talk about products that are under development in conjunction with our partners or on our own. Those things aren't technology or virtualization-based topics, they involve business IP, and as a part owner of the company and someone committed to it's growth and success, those things aren't going to be in the public domain.
However, there are lots of things that SHOULD be discussed publicly. Why does VMware struggle to understand how to channelize the Service Provider space? Why does the VSPP program fall short of being something that can provide value? Why does the contention between the regular sales channel and the VSPP sales team cause me, as a customer and partner, so much grief? Why do I want to be in the "Public Cloud" business? When can I finally fully leverage all 19 of my data centers to protect VMs seamlessly? What does Microsoft bring to the table for Service Providers, considering they figured out the SPLA model long ago? Will project Redwood finally be the panacea to all of our struggles to build a seamless, abstracted way to have our internal teams interact with the virtualized systems? What does Chad Sakac like to drink? There are important questions to be asked, answered and complained about here people!
I'm not the smartest guy on earth; I don't have all of the answers. What I do have is a very real perspective on this technology from a Service Provider standpoint, I have a fantastic staff who helps me take care of our customers every day, and I have an executive team who pushes me to find the next thing out there. All I care about is taking care of customers and making where I work a better company. I know there are some of you out there who have the same mission, so let's see what we can figure out together for the good of the whole community.
Everyone needs a goal that seems out of reach, right? Here's mine: I want the Service Provider/Hosting space to be the driver for virtualization in the next 5 years that server consolidation in the enterprise has been for the last 5. Let's see what we can do.