Dell EMC CTO: 'Highly Diffused And Distributed' IT Environments Are The Future

Technology guru John Roese says the most important IT trend today is the decentralization of infrastructure and the effects it will have across every industry.

"I guarantee you, five years from now, we'll be living in a highly diffused and distributed environment and code needs to be properly placed along with the data that it uses to be effective," said Roese, global CTO at Dell EMC and chairman of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, on stage at the 2018 Cloud Foundry Summit in Boston on Friday.

"We've been in a cycle where everything was moving toward centralization, and now we're seeing that reverse," Roese said onstage alongside Abby Kearns, executive director of the Cloud Foundry Foundation. "We're going to fragment or actually spread the IT infrastructure out back away from these central entities. The entities are going to be very important – they're gravitational centers for ecosystems -- but because of speed of light issues, because of the need to move to real-time, because of just the sheer volume of data that's being created, we're starting to see new trends like edge computing materialize."

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He said decentralization was the biggest theme he heard at Mobile World Congress this year where giant companies in the mobile, industrial and automotive industries were saying they can't build their future without a distributed framework.

The need to have access to resources close to where the users and activity occurs, is becoming more critical for companies, according to Roese. As the world shifts to a decentralized environment and towards areas like edge computing, engineers and technologists are going to need to adapt.

"We're going to have to be very selective about, 'What do we run there and how do we run it? And what capabilities does that edge provide?' And when we build code, 'What function should live in the center because they're non-real-time or can deal with the latency or the data they need is there, and which functions maybe belong close to the edge so we can get the performance and real-time characteristics we need?'" Roese said.

Roese has been the CTO of various companies over the past two decades including Enterasys, EMC and Nortel. He's been the chairman of the Cloud Foundry Foundation for more than three years.

The non-profit foundation is backed by companies like Google, Microsoft, SAP and Dell EMC. It was formed to develop, promote and adopt the open source Platform-as-a-Service Cloud Foundry technology as the industry standard for delivering the best development experiences. The 2018 Cloud Foundry Summit took place this week at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.