By: Clay Ryder, President, Sageza Group, Inc.
Published: 28th December 2009
Copyright Sageza Group, Inc. © 2009
The world is getting smarter as it is more instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent. As a result, there is a significant shift in organizations' assumptions about IT and the strategic approach to IT investments. The data center of today is being called upon to deliver a dynamic, realtime, IT infrastructure that can keep up with the demands for information and speed of delivery. Business is transforming as a smarter planet increases the scale, complexity, and diversity of workloads that most any organization will be called upon to support. Pervasive instrumentation will create vast amounts of data and drive new types of applications that require realtime data analysis and predictive intelligence.
Organizations' strategic approach to IT infrastructure must evolve to meet the corporate need not only of today, but of tomorrow as well. Historically, workloads often have been deployed in a siloed fashion. While there may have been organizational and financial biases within business that favored this approach, the resultant infrastructure suffered from an inherent inefficiency in operations combined with high demands on floor space, energy consumption, and cooling capacity. In addition, the sharing of applications and data across the corporation was often difficult in such a scenario, which leads to underutilized assets.
Rigid technological constraints combined with complexity made change difficult to achieve which resulted in increased operational expense and a competitive disadvantage for organizations. Further, this has challenged regulatory compliance and security initiatives as well as limiting organizations' efforts to implement industry best practices. In a nutshell, businesses are unnecessarily being exposed to risk.
To meet their current and future business requirements, organizations must change their IT strategy to an expectation of a dynamic IT infrastructure that seamlessly blends business process with IT resources to enable the making of informed, realtime decisions at the point of business impact. The challenges in implementing a dynamic infrastructure include creating Workload Optimized Systems that more effectively align technology capability with the business need, managing service delivery across a larger number of more instrumented and interconnected processes and assets, and fundamentally changing storage economics to enable information-led growth without scaling the cost of storage management out of reach.
Long-term corporate viability and competitive success dictate that IT solutions will need to seamlessly integrate visibility, control, and automation across all business and IT assets. Computing solutions must be highly optimized to do more with less. Integrated service management is necessary to provide visibility, control, and automation across business and IT services to ensure consistent, high-quality delivery. The intertwining and leverage of information is by nature realtime and dynamic; the enterprise can no longer afford to have information that is minutes, let alone hours or days removed from reality.
Overall, we have reached a point in time whereby what was good enough in IT is simply no longer good enough. The preponderance of general purpose solutions assembled from commodity hardware and software are arguably inexpensive and relatively simple to acquire, however, their ongoing management expense as well as their historically low levels of utilization do not meet the efficiency and scalability needs of 21st century organizations. Hence, more strategic considerations than initial acquisition cost are paramount when conceiving and deploying IT solutions that will meet the TCO and ROI objectives of businesses today.
For a more in depth discussion of this issue, we invite you to read our white paper, The IBM Workload Optimized Approach: Why Do Systems Matter?, which examines many of issues facing IT organizations in the 21st century. In addition, we review several of the initiatives that IBM has articulated to meet the challenge of delivering dynamic, scalable, and optimized response to the increasing demands of evolving workloads. The complete white paper may be downloaded from IT-Analysis.com, IT-Director.com, or Sageza.com.
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