Copyright (c) 123RF Stock PhotosUnlike the previous eight years since its start, this year's Virtual Technology Users Group (VTUG) Winter Warmer conference covered more than simply VMware. Instead, OpenStack, convergence, and flash storage were among the platforms covered among over 1,500 attending practitioners. This apparent paradigm shift reflects the influence of cloud computing and the other changes paving the way for the technological evolution of data centers. This transformation was discussed toward the end of a recent episode of theCUBE.

In the discussion, Dave Vellante mentioned that while certain new technologies and concepts are coming into fruition, the fundamentals of IT have essentially remained the same. While IT professionals are still expected to see returns on company assets, among other goals, the means to achieving this success is altering. Open cloud sourcing continues to make waves across a variety of industries, with increased momentum following the gained support of reigning corporations such as Hewlett Packard and IBM.

OpenStack is Changing the Realm of IT

Many companies have utilized OpenStack in their operations in order to improve the overall efficiency of their company operations. From developing solely in the hands of NASA as a side project to becoming an industry-wide solution after corporate backing, OpenStack should be led by a variety of companies as opposed to a single corporation, according to Vellante.

Stu Miniman contributed further to the discussion, stating that it's an interesting time to be in IT. He brings up the numerous changes that are influencing the way the industry works, including converged infrastructure and flash storage, both of which have been relevant for about five years. He continues: "And we expect that we will, over the next couple of years, see even more innovation in flash and new architectures than we saw in the last five." It appears these technologies, coupled with a software-based infrastructure, are pushing companies to progress. Large corporations, rather than being toppled by these technologies, are adapting to these developments in order to improve their operations.

Smaller Vendors Will Still Stand

With the new trends getting picked up by big vendors, traditional vendors are remaining successful, according to Vellante. At the same time, infrastructure businesses such as EMC are competing with more disruptive companies, including cloud vendors like Workday and others such as ServiceNow, Salesforce and Splunk. Vellante states of these larger companies, "Those are highly disruptive, because they have more software-like marginal economics, yet at the same time they're stealing some of the hardware share, invisibly." In spite of this conflict, even some of the struggling smaller companies are likely to remain viable.

In the long run, it looks like open source cloud computing software such as the ever-efficient OpenStack has taken the IT world by storm, while others are going with technologies such as Microsoft Windows 8's Hyper-V. As Vellante notes in the theCUBE wrap-up conversation, it will be interesting to see what will occur in the future of IT as infrastructure companies continue to interact with the application business. With this technology, Vellante interestingly speculates that  throughout 2014 and into the future, the application space will peak the interests of those who previously avoided it.