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The Most Boring Service We offer … And how to bring down a data center in one easy snip!

I do enjoy the (sometimes irreverent!) perspectives of some articles on data center in the UK publication “The Register“, and the story of how a data center change went wrong made me laugh, cringe and cry at the same time – the change being when an electrician cut the wrong wire and brought down a 25,000 square feet data center!!!

It Only Takes a Snip ... The Case for Change Support

It Only Takes a Snip … The Case for Change Support

 

Let’s have a look at what went wrong here, and then I’ll relate this to one of our more fundamental services, that of “change support”. Some may call this a “boring” service option, however “fundamental” is much more appropriate, as the following story will show.  Finally, I’ll point you to a free white paper to illustrate the cost benefits.

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Your New Year’s Resolution for 2016: Start with a Cisco Domain Ten Workshop

A few years ago, I wrote a series of blogs on Cisco’s Domain Ten(SM)  framework.  Since then, we’ve used this simple yet powerful analysis tool to help guide many customers on data center and IT transformation projects.  I personally found it quite notable that leading market analyst firm IDC, recognizing Cisco as the worldwide leader in the Networking Consulting Services arena in their August 2015 IDC MarketScape Worldwide Network Consulting Services 2015 Vendor Assessment (IDC Document #258131), called out Cisco Domain Ten in their assessment of Cisco.

Over the years, as we’ve used this framework to analyse customer IT, data center and cloud challenges, we’ve evolved and tuned the framework.  You can learn more about Cisco Domain Ten, in the video below as well as my original blogs, which are still very relevant.

How then, do you know if a Cisco Domain Ten would help you in your data center, cloud and broader IT initiatives? How do you know if you should be making a Cisco Domain Ten workshop one of your new year’s resolutions for 2016?

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To Outsource IT, or Not to Outsource IT? That is the Question.

Sharing IT stories is the backbone of Cisco on Cisco, and architecture is the backbone of IT. What happens when you outsource ALL of your IT, including the architecture? Sure, it may sound like a good idea, and there definitely are positive aspects to outsourcing some parts of IT; but when you lose control of your architecture, IT becomes slow and outdated. In the video below I share how I respond to this common question of whether or not it is a good idea to outsource IT – the good, the bad, and the very ugly.

And the moral of this story:  Outsource anything in IT – except architecture

Why?

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The End of Big IT Architecture (Part 1 of a 4 part series “Who moved the IT cheese while I was getting production back up?”)

Look around in your IT shop.  Do you have a single large  printout page denoting the graphic of the IT Enterprise Architecture in your company?  Does Zachman ring a bell?  Do you have Data, Process and Deployment views documented?  Do you have an Enterprise Architect?

If you answered YES to most if not all of these then you better take a seat and then throw this all out.  Get the biggest shredder you can or just light a match to those artifacts.  Big IT architecture is dead.  Some would say we the practitioners never really got there.  I agree with that. Management turnover and turnover again, ITIL deployments, imploding financial systems and reductions in funding, virtualization that sneaked in the back door, cloud that entered through the front door; this all worked against us in building the perfect system model to live out the decade, let along the most recent fiscal quarter.

If you answered MAYBE or NO to most of those questions, good for you, but be careful.   I will explain about that later.  Monolithic IT architectures are gone.  Do we really have a single version of the truth in that relational database?  Probably not.  Why is this important?  The pace of innovation in the deployment of IT systems to solve real life problems at speed and scale has increased.  In some ways we are willing to compromise on those desires for five nines of reliability to get the business results quickly.

Do you still need a well thought out architecture for your deployed systems?  Of course!  Do you need to design those deployment views for new models of application resiliency, ecosystems of federated data models,  and the conclusion that even the CIO’s office can’t really control what the end users do with technology?  Absolutely.

Why is this important to you?  No matter what part of IT or the business you are in, make a small subtle shift in your psyche.  Stop trying to control what you cannot.  Focus on the end outcomes, and strive to make your piece of IT process or technology listen to your customers.  If you are an architect, go broad, real broad, but focus on the micro-architectures.  If you are a technologist, don’t just dwell on the speeds and feeds.  Live a few days in the life of your users.  Manage the change that occurs through small impactful steps.

Back to building flexible automation for fast moving architectures.

 

 

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