Interop: Cloud, Consumerization Create IT Sea Change

Cloud computing and the consumerization of IT are the two key forces driving IT and changing the face of the industry, Citrix President and CEO Mark Templeton told a packed house Tuesday at Interop Las Vegas 2011.

And as the cloud era takes hold, it is IT's duty to embrace the shift and break the shackles of the old-guard PC era.

"We're moving very, very rapidly form the PC era … to the cloud era," Templeton said during his Interop keynote at Mandalay Bay.

Where the PC era focused on building systems, lock-in, fixed costs and other out-dated models, the cloud era is a pay-by-the-drink, opt-in elastic environment that removes a great deal of complexity and introduces flexibility, Templeton said.

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Templeton compared today's IT shift to the Direct TV model, where content is aggregated, orchestrated and delivered, but that the devices and network have no specific controls over that content.

"This is a huge change," he said, adding "It's change that will be driven by the biggest force we've ever seen in computing and that's the consumerization of IT."

Templeton predicted that the consumerization of IT will force more IT change over the next decade than any other technology trend. The ability to bring your own device and leverage self-service personal clouds and cloud applications are driving the explosion of consumer devices into the enterprise.

"Consumers are taking control of IT … We're going to have to respond," he said.

The era of bring your own computer, or BYO-C as Templeton called it, has spawned several more BYOs, including BYO-apps, or leveraging personal cloud apps for business user; BYO-network, the ability to connect to consumer 3G and 4G networks; BYO-identity; and BYO-compute, through which end-users buy infrastructure and capacity from cloud providers.

And if companies are smart, Templeton said, they'll embrace the new reality.

"Don't fight it. Feature it," he advised.

To embrace it, companies can move services from inside IT and deliver them via universal clients and create clouds service bridges. That method stitches together devices, distribution, IT and the cloud, he said. It also creates the ability to have an infinite data center.

To help accommodate the drive to the cloud and the consumerization of IT, Templeton unveiled Citrix NetScaler SDX, a new service delivery controller that delivers apps, data, voice, video and other services and can run multiple virtual NetScaler instances. NetScaler SDX runs on Xen and can run up to 40 NetScaler VPXs, the virtual version of NetScaler, to create a service delivery fabric.

Templeton also detailed Citrix Branch Repeater 6, which offers optimization control, and AppFlow, a standard for app visibility and app intelligence.

"We're making this incredible transition from the PC era to the cloud era," he said. "It's moving way faster than we ever imagined."