Years ago I read Snow Crash and really enjoyed the novel. In it, a virtual reality world exists, where many people connect to and roam about in a virtual world, experiencing various 3D type views of applications, systems, and data. There are numerous other novels that enjoy similar worlds, like Ready Player One and Warstrider. It’s an idea that many people look forward to as virtual reality systems grow in power and capability.
With Microsoft’s HoloLens, there’s a project underway to bring more virtual reality to our everyday world, including the management of IT systems. There are various people at Microsoft Research looking to allow us to navigate the complexity of our IT installations, including SQL Server instances, to better understand the relationships between our servers.
This is exciting in some sense. Can you imagine being able to “move” through space to a Production SQL Server, viewing the real time access of queries, users, and data. We would be able to grab a query and pause it, cancel it, even follow chains of blocking to find the sources of issues in a way that is likely to be more natural for many of the people that will enter the technology field in the next 20 years.
It’s April 1, and I’m somewhat joking and somewhat not. I’m not sure if there is any project underway specifically for managing IT systems, but I could see this as a way of better visualizing and working with large amounts of data. Certainly there might be visual analysis of Big Data that makes sense, but I could see large amount of security data, logging, auditing data that is better dealt with in some sort of virtual reality interface.
I know this might seem strange to some of us. I’ve tried the Oculus hardware and Samsung VR systems, and they have a long way to go before I’d want one, but I have dreams of being able to more easily navigate the complexity of our systems in a way that might feel more natural and intuitive than the ever growing list of folders and dialogs in Management Studio.