The world of business is becoming faster, more competitive and ever more dependent on IT. Transactions and interactions that used to be handled manually between suppliers, the channel and customers are now largely electronic. Most of the day-to-day operations and communications of the business rely on IT services and any …
Open source = responsive
There's a lot of paranoia now about licencing, and Microsoft have increased licences between 8 and 400% this year, with 15% for CALs.
So what's a mofo to do? Count CPUs and cores and VMs and then estimate licence fees based on arcane formulae?
Or use open source systems that are licence and licence management free. Such as Linux. Yes you can still spend money on support of you want to, but to use open source gives you flexibility. You can use as much as you want, on as many chips and cores and VMs as you want without having to fill out forms and wait for bean counters to say yay or nay.
This is a massive advantage of using Linux, for example, in terms of TCO.
Re: Open source = responsive
Yawn, it's the same old Linux is the answer, what's the question type of comment you always trott out. You neglect to mention that all these systems need to be supported and that costs and has to be managed.
How do I run my Windows software on Linux?
How do I run Linux software on Windows?
How do I run either on proprietary UNIX?
Oh and if you're tempted to answer any of the above questions, the kicker is that they all need to be supported.
In conclusion: Sometimes Linux is the answer, sometimes Windows, sometimes other OSes. In any company over a few tens of servers, you're going to end up with different OSes.
"Yet...these critical infrastructure elements are usually procured, managed and run separately, resulting in a fragmented infrastructure..."
In many companies there is no integrated thinking in first place, even after we implemented ITIL. Andrew Buss is talking about changing silos to a layered service delivery. Sure enough, there are challenges here, e.g. the compartmentalization due to PCI-DSS req 6. But Andrew is coming bottom up from an infrastructure viewpoint, many companies however start top down. For example, "we need to provide this trading functionality using that application because the sales rep bought us a steak lunch. And, uh, let's throw some money at some tin. Er, we need, servers, storage and networks." All items that I mentioned here are products, or solutions to requirements. Even Andrew still makes the distinction between these segments. Unfortunately this is 1980s thinking and simply wrong, and also is not remedied by deploying management software like Oracle Enterprise Manager or a bunch of tools from BMC or VMWare.
The infrastructure today is still defined by the sales reps that are selling us the servers, the routers and the storage. The first step to a more flexible IT model is to liberate ourselves from them. This means "mail service" instead of "MS Exchange" and "data, backup and archiving service" instead of "SAN".
After that, we talk about continued business justification, roles and responsibilites, tailor to suit the service/the customer, etc.
And, boy, do you get results once you get external parties out of the equation!
sounds good. how practical and realistic is it?
Recognise, and concur with, a great deal from this article. However, how good *are* these management tools? They seem to cost a *colossal* amount, do nearly everything except what you're specifically after, and decouple you from the technology. Am not confusing what's being proposed with ITIL, but they are closely tied. ITIL has the concept of a frankly mythical, all-encompassing CMDB, but only a handful of them actually exist. itskeptic.org has a very valid viewpoint!
Having said all of that, isn't this *exactly* what IT service providers such as rackspace.co.uk and fasthosts.co.uk do? You want a server? Fill in an online form, flash the cash and have a server minutes later. Need to double the storage? One swipe of the credit card, and its yours. Why can't *their* technology be packaged up so we can offer *exactly* what they offer on premises? It's still processors, Ethernet and gigabytes to power it, but their service management [seems to] transcends this.
On premises, management tools can tell me the temperature and RPM of a disk and RUNTs on my switch. Does *any* of that matter to the beancounters? Are they details rackspace and fasthosts share with their customers?
Maybe I've spotted a gap in the market? Just like you subcontract on premises cleaning to Initial and on premises security to Securitas, maybe you should subcontract on premises data centres to rackspace and fasthosts? They manage the "tin", you provision a server exactly as you do with cloud hosted servers, only its on premises...? A shipping container, complete with air con, ups, generator, servers and storage?