I just finished reading an excellent book called “Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World” by Christopher Steiner. It got me thinking about how algorithms can play a role in the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). Orchestration and Automation, a big trend these days, could be the first step toward an SDDC.
Going a step further, creating and adding predictive algorithms with vendor APIs to the SDDC stack could transform our current traditional data centers to more active, and sometimes, machine learning data centers of the future. Algorithms are more than automation and orchestration; it’s about being able to respond and react with no human intervention.
Algorithms are all around us today, from Wall Street to Healthcare, deciding and taking actions with no intervention from a human. There is an example in the book about an algorithm that could predict hit songs.
Predictive Security Algorithms
One thought that came to me was using predictive algorithms and vendor APIs with security tools. Imagine your security vendor provides you with a predictive algorithm, along with their API that is monitoring the network. The algorithm could start countermeasures once an attack is underway, all without the intervention of a system administrator, rather than report that you need to take some action.
Let’s say the predictive algorithm noticed some strange activity on a particular port and could determine the type of attack. It could immediately start countermeasures, for example–spawns several additional firewalls within that VLAN/network to deal with the attack or spawns honeypots, to redirect the attack. How about a predictive algorithm that could spawn virtual switches on your network as needed to help with a particular application load, all with no intervention from the IT staff?
The Future belongs to Algorithms and APIs
There are so many examples of using predictive algorithms that could transform your data center and your company. I’ve also started seeing courses online related to machine learning and predictive analytics. Did you know Google has a Prediction API? Not sure about the details, but it seems interesting.
I know it’s still early in the Software-Defined Data Center space, but the possibilities are endless. In addition, do we need a different type of sysadmin for the future? One that can program to help deploy this new system?
If you look at any of the Top 10 lists, for example, ComputerWorld released the 10 hottest IT skills for 2015 which listed programming/application development as number 1. Interested in getting started with programming, check out the many online courses–some free and some paid, but either way very accessible.
Have a different opinion, let me know on Twitter what you think and as always thanks for reading!