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Toigo: Beware of user-controlled resource provisioning

In order for virtualization to be efficient, an environment must be able to allocate storage and server resources effectively. One approach is to hand the controls over to user departments, according to analyst Jon Toigo. But resource provisioning comes with its own set of problems.

"As for the self-provisioning of resources, they're trying to get to this model of an electronic coffee machine. You select the application you want … then you say what kind of strength you need this to be … and then how many seats do you need?" among other issues, explained Toigo, who called it "the 'Starbuckification' of IT."

"It puts users directly in control. ... I don't like this model one little bit," said Toigo, since it places oversight in the hands of users.

He noted that past efforts to give application management control to users haven't worked. User-overseen backups fail when users don't remember to conduct the backups, for example, which leads to giving IT oversight of resource provisioning. "It was known as the one-tape rule. If the amount of data to be backed up exceeds one tape, backups stop getting done. Why? Because it's Friday night."

"We've tried throwing applications over the wall of the data center into the user departments in the 80s ... by the 90s, the users were all turning them back over to IT," Toigo said.

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