Finally, the new Game of Thrones season is here! I am anxious to learn what will happen next for the characters in the Seven Kingdoms, especially with the White Walkers threatening to overrun the Night’s Watch and take The Wall.
Warning: Spoilers ahead! In the season 6 opener, the Mother of Dragons is being held by the Dothraki hoarde. Will Dany end up in a Vaes Dothrak retirement community with the other Khals’ widows, or will Drogon (literally) swoop in to rescue her? Freed by The Sparrows and sporting a new hairdo, Cersei could be more dangerous than ever, fueled by grief and a desire for vengeance after learning of Myrcella’s death. And, after Jon Snow is (presumably) killed Julius Caesar-style by his Night’s Watch comrades, speculation that priestess Melisandre will be resurrecting Jon Snow in shadow-murder-baby-like fashion seems more plausible now that we know her centuries-old secret.
However, even wondering if Tyrion will improve his Valyrian, or if master manipulator Petyr Baeiish will return is trumped by the question, “If an IT organization were a Game of Thrones episode, which IT infrastructure would be aligned with which faction?” (I know, I have too much time on my hands).
The changes affecting IT today are likely unprecedented. New technology has caused some power shifts along the way. It was just a few years ago that there was a power struggle over the cloud, with some in agreement that IT should be responsible for cloud services, and others that saw cloud as a way to circumvent IT.
As IT organizations continue to evolve given the proliferation of virtualization (there’s another power struggle) and the adoption of cloud service delivery, a new dynamic is causing IT organizations to shift skill sets and focus. Since hyperconverged infrastructure assimilates up to a dozen IT components and services into scalable building blocks that enable cloud-characteristic IT service delivery on premises, IT teams need fewer specialists devoted to each of those tasks. Hyperconvergence handles multiple tasks (compute, storage, storage networking, data protection, and more), and for some companies, this means eliminating the need for a SAN or complex backup and disaster recovery infrastructure. For others, it frees up IT professionals’ time and allows them to focus on other components of the business technology agenda. In either case, change brings about a jockeying for position.
Some IT pros see hyperconverged infrastructure as the next wave of evolution in the data center and others see it as a revolution. Similar to the maneuvering for advantage that we see on Game of Thrones, will hyperconvergence usher in a power struggle in IT?
If it does, who’s in contention? Just for fun, I equated Game of Thrones entities with IT groups. Here’s the match-up and justification or see the full infographic:
House Baratheon = Traditional Storage
House Baratheon is known for their bullheaded and stubborn personalities, large and muscular build, inflexibility, and bad tempers (exemplified by their words, “Ours is the fury”). Once a renowned warrior, Robert Baratheon got complacent on the throne and left the crown in debt.
House Lannister = Flash Storage
House Lannister reigns atop Casterly Rock. They’re known to be relentlessly ambitious, arrogant, cunning, and ruthless, making many enemies in their rise to power—especially the Baratheons.
House Tyrell = Virtualization
House Tyrell is known for beauty and strength through slow growth, and has gradually increased their power. Known for their ambition and desire for fame, they sidle up to whoever is likely to win in conflict. How many kings has Margaery Tyrell married?
House Stark = Mainframe
House Stark is known for being honorable and dutiful, having a grim/humorless demeanor, and possessing distaste for political affairs. They follow the old ways – going against the grain. Unfortunately, Eddard Stark lost his head for being loyal and apolitical.
Maesters = Networking
Maesters are wise, skeptical, and in control of communications across the realm. As Maester Luwin notes, “Service as a Maester is a noble calling, one of vital importance to a prosperous realm.”
The Night’s Watch = Security
This military order is charged with protecting the realm from outside threats. It turns out that they are not all “white hats.”
The Iron Bank = CFO
The Iron Bank is the most powerful financial institution, and has a fearsome reputation (their motto is “the Iron Bank will have its due”).
House Martell = Cloud
House Martell is known for their progressive policies, open dialogues, and less restrictive class system. They have passion and are feisty (as exemplified by the Sand Sisters), and can be impulsive and lack caution in decision making (silly Ellaria Sand …don’t you know that Cersei will be gunning for you now as retribution?).
House Tully = Backup
House Tully is fierce and has a reputation for not surrendering easily. They protect their own from outside threats. Remember Catelyn Tully Stark’s last stand at the Red Wedding?
House Targaryen = Hyperconvergence
House Targaryen is known for being assertive and the belief they are genetically superior. They can prophesize the future, and are intent on claiming the throne. Daenaerys is uniting disparate kingdoms and unshackling the slaves.
The power struggle within IT will be ongoing as new technology and innovation impacts the IT culture and organization. Is it as thought provoking as if we will ever see Bran and Hodor south of The Wall again, if Ramsey Snow Bolton will get his comeuppance, or if Arya will finish assassin training? Probably not. But it’s fun to contemplate.