Just keeping the lights on is no longer good enough
We know how important it is that your data center is performing at its best. So outdated platforms have no place there -- consuming more energy than necessary, taking more space than needed, and not keeping up with the pace of business.
With the never-ceasing progression of technology, cloud, desktop virtualization and big data have become hot topics among IT and business professionals. And benefits such as improved manageability, efficient and flexible IT service, and lower maintenance costs give good reason for this. So just keeping the lights of IT on is not good enough.
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A few months ago, after a my previous blogs discussing cloud computing adoption, I changed subject and authored a short series of articles around the challenges of adopting an architectural-led approach to your IT strategy in general, and data center design in particular. (If you missed them, you can read them here: part 1, part 2, and part 3). The theme of these articles centered on the Winchester House in San Jose, California.
This house was extended by builder after builder, without any architectural blueprint. Consequently, this house had many doors opening into blank walls, abandoned staircases, and other “features” — and it was in construction for year after year, with point additions compounding the problems. I then asserted that this analogy can apply to how IT architectures sometimes evolve -- bit by bit, without a formal blueprint or “grand master” plan, if you will.
Architecture-Led Facebook Poll Results 31 Jan 2012
I finished the series with a poll on our Cisco Data Center Facebook page - thanks to all of you who spotted the poll and took the time to respond. The results were indeed interesting, so I thought I’d share back the results with you and discuss the implications. As the diagram shows, you certainly told us loud and clear what your biggest issue was when it came to adopting an architectural-led approach to your IT strategy and data center design: “We don’t have clear enough business goals for IT” scooped 65% of your votes, way ahead of all other options (!!) -- so let’s discuss now in some more detail.
An “architectural-led” approach to your data center, indeed to your overall IT architecture, given the previous discussion in part 1 and part 2 of this blog, is therefore a strategic imperative for progressive organisations. We in Cisco don’t want to see your IT architecture have problems analogous to the Winchester House. So how can you achieve an “architectural-led” approach? I’ll cover 5 key recommendations in this, my final part of this trilogy :-).
Avoiding the Winchester House Scenario for your IT Architecture
Last week in part 1 of this blog, I used the analogy of the Winchester House to start the discussion on why an architecture-led approach should be a strategic imperative for your IT architectural evolution and transformation. In this part 2, I’ll give some industry data points, and use some examples of the complex network-based solutions you are implementing, to illustrate why you should adopt the architectural-led approach over the point product minefield.
The Winchester House - A Case for Architectural-Led Evolution and Transformation