Understanding the impact of the data center autopilot
Current state of the art and my disappointment with traditional databases aside, I mentioned in my comments last week that the data center autopilot will have big consequences. It seems to me that there is not enough recognition of the likely impact. The tactical observations are that automation will reduce people costs, at least on a per-workload basis, and that automation will:
- Minimize over-provisioning,
- Help reduce downtime,
- Help to manage SLAs, and
- Improve transparency, governance, auditing and accounting.
That is all true, but it’s not the big story: The overall strategic impact is to significantly accelerate organizational velocity. The acceleration is partly as a result of the above efficiencies, but much more importantly as a consequence of automated decisions being made and implemented orders-of-magnitude faster than manual decisions can be. Aviation autopilots do things that human pilots are not fast enough to do. They are used to stabilize deliberately unstable aircraft such as the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk at millisecond timescales, and deliver shorter flight times by constantly monitoring hundreds of sensors in real time and optimally exploiting jetstreams.