Today I was at the Nordics VMUG in Copenhagen (Denmark) and in a few session we kept seeing that management layers shift or at least are shifting. About 10 years ago we were all, with a few exceptions maybe, managing a few physical servers, each with their own very specific use case and physical design. Even identical physical architectures were a dream because we bought hardware for 5-years use and in between new business demands entered. To manage these servers we used RDP and maybe some iLO (HP) or iDRAC (DELL) for physical management when the OS wasn't there yet. It was a rare use case where someone actually used a HP Matrix system to manage all the physical hardware in a Single-Pane-Of-Glass.
Over the last 10 years now we have been managing our servers as Virtual Machines. From adding new physical devices we went to adding physical resources when needed and gave us a very short time-to-market. Whether you are using VMware ESX(i) or even Microsoft Hyper-V, we have all our machines in a cluster manager or maybe if you are small enough just per host and you manage everything through your virtualization management client like vCenter Client. Lately these management interface have even shifted to web-based interfaces so that local installations are no longer needed. And although some hardware vendors do have management plugins, we don't have today our Single-Pane-Of-Glass. We are still logging in to our Backup Server, Network Firewall, Storage Array, ...
Fast forward to today tomorrow. With the Software-Defined-Datacenter entering our world, the possibility of bringing EVERYTHING in to that Single-Pane-Of-Glass has become closer than ever. In essence the SD-hype is about splitting the control plane from the data plane, which provides us the possibility to pool and automate resources. Waaw, nice sales pitch there, right? You would not have to go into the Storage or Networking management interfaces anymore because everything will be controlled through API's and scripts (Puppet/Chef/...) Time to market? The speed of light
How many User Interfaces do YOU have today? I'd love to see you list all of them and tell me which ones you think/hope to get rid of in the not so distant future and how.