Back when the mainframe ruled the world, information technology (IT) practitioners quickly learned the value of a well-managed system. They understood the value of managing problems, changes, and other issues confronting large, mission-critical computer systems running an organization's most sensitive business functions.
When the popularity of mainframes waned in favor of less costly midrange and PC systems, IT organizations were caught in the frenzy of developing and deploying new business applications with breakneck speed. Suddenly, more computing power was available to end users, who wanted to accomplish more with it than ever before. The corporate information system grew in scope, use, and importance, with no end in sight.
Now that the dust has settled somewhat, both the IT organization and the leaders of the business recognize that an unmanaged state-of-the-art computer system can be as bad as having none at all. Symptoms of this problem with unmanaged systems manifest themselves in ballooning IT costs, overworked and demoralized IT staff, and user dissatisfaction.
This series of articles for InformIT describes how to deliver maximum availability and manageability throughout the IT infrastructure's lifecycle, from assessment through building and operation. The articles review key techniques for simplifying management and maintenance—covering business requirements, IT architectures, facilities, processes, and organizational structures. They also discuss practical means of implementing these techniques to make your IT infrastructure far less prone to outages.
The articles cover technical and management issues, since you can't achieve long-term system availability and manageability solutions without addressing both. They were written to benefit everyone in the IT organization. Technical staff will find practical operational solutions that can be implemented immediately. IT management will gain a better perspective of the end-to-end and interrelated requirements of running an IT shop. And Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and other senior IT executives will find forward-looking strategies for enhancing the IT infrastructure and its contribution to the corporate bottom line.
You can manage systems better if you design them with high systems availability in mind. This series of articles will show you how to address your IT infrastructure availability problems, from start to finish.