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Building N1: Grid Solutions: Preparing, Architecting, and Implementing Service-Centric Data Centers

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Building N1: Grid Solutions: Preparing, Architecting, and Implementing Service-Centric Data Centers


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Emerging virtualized, service-centric IT architectures–Shows how to treat the data center as a single, unified system for cost-effective management, better utilization, and greater responsiveness.

~Gives students a deep understanding of the new virtualized, service-centric paradigm that represents the future of IT infrastructure.

Breakthroughs in IT utilization, cost reduction, and strategic flexibility–Offers a start-to-finish strategy and tactics for delivering greater value from existing infrastructure while enhancing organizational flexibility.

~Prepares students to address the difficult business problems that will be central to life in tomorrow’s IT organizations.

End-to-end service provider case study–Walks through N1 planning and implementation in one of the world’s most complex business and technical environments: a Fortune 100 telecommunications service provider

~Helps students understand the realities of N1 implementation in complex real-world environments.

N1 vision, strategy, architecture, and products–Covers everything students need to know to assess, plan, and implement N1, or compare it with competitive approaches.

~Prepares students to participate in any facet of an N1 deployment project, and to help manage N1 after it has been deployed.

Complementary business and technical coverage–Covers both the business drivers and technical challenges associated with N1 decision-making and deployment, mapping technical coverage to specific business challenges.

~Helps students understand why organizations might deploy N1, and how to ensure that N1 deployments solve the business problems they’re intended to address.

Infrastructure, application, and data center optimization–Shows how to use N1 to optimize every key element of an organization’s IT environment.

~Addresses many of the most crucial efficiency and productivity challenges tomorrow’s IT organizations will face.

Part of The Sun BluePrints Series–Designed to empower IT professionals with the Sun technical knowledge and best practices they need to implement reliable, extensible, and secure datacenter information systems.

~Provides best practices and accurate, carefully-reviewed technical information that students can rely upon.


  • Copyright 2005
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/4"
  • Pages: 336
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-148201-7
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-148201-2

The N1 Grid is Sun's vision, strategy, and architecture—and a set of products—that redefine the nature of data center computing. The N1 Grid architecture uses the network, physically and logically, as its fundamental organizing principle.

This book enables the reader to implement service-centric data center solutions through the use of N1 Grid-based principles and architectures, which are more efficient and flexible. It opens with an overview of how this approach evolved and then takes the reader through the process of preparing, architecting, and implementing N1 Grid-based solutions.

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Building N1™ Grid Solutions: Realizing the Vision

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Table of Contents


Foreword: Scaling the Tidal Wave.




    Audience for This Book.

    How This Book Is Organized.

    Typographic Conventions.

    Accessing Sun Documentation.

    Sun Welcomes Your Comments.


1. Context for the Vision.

    Business Imperatives.

    Technology Problems.

    The Evolution of Enterprise Computing.

    Moving Toward the N1 Grid Architecture.

2. Vision and Strategy.

    Strategic Rationale.

    From Server-Centric Applications to Network-Centric Services.

    From a Network of Discrete Systems to a Fabric of Resources.

    Service-Centric Architectures.

    Managing Deployments.

    Systemic Solution.

    The Systemic Approach.


3. Realizing the Vision.

    Properties of an N1 Grid System.

    N1 Grid Operating Environment.

    Heterogeneity Within N1 Grid Systems.

    Functional Breakdown.


    Service-Centric Management.

    Workload-to-Resources Mapping.


    Provisioning Services.

    Virtualization and Provisioning Examples.

    Provisioning a Service Component on an Existing Operating System.

    Provisioning a Service Component as Part of a Complete Bootable Image.

    N1 Grid Systems Realized.

    Route to the N1 Grid Solutions.

    Value of N1 Grid Systems.



4. Definition and Preparation.

    Implications of Implementing N1 Grid Solutions.

    SunTone Architecture Methodology.




    Systemic Qualities.

    Additional SunTone AM Principles.

    Use Case Focused.


    Iterative and Incremental.

    People, Processes, and Tools.

    N1 Grid Architecture Considerations.

    Infrastructure Virtualization Impact.

    Historical Impact.

    Elements of Infrastructure Virtualization.

    Compute Element Virtualization.

    Network Virtualization.

    Storage Virtualization.

    Implementation Combinations.

    Preparation for Infrastructure Virtualization.

    Common Namespaces.

    Solaris Container Model.

    Data Security.

    Foundation Services.

    Application Provisioning.

    Dependencies and Use Cases.

    Resource Managers.

    Security and Trust Models.


    Mobility Business Decisions and Control Fabric.

    Foundation Services.

    Preparation for Increased Service Density.

    Business Drivers and Feedback Loop.

    Dependencies and Use Cases.

    Resource Management.

    Capacity and Performance Measurements.

    Operational Management Capabilities Model.


5. Measurable Requirements.

    Traceable Requirements.

    SMART Requirements.

    Use Cases.

    CTQ Measurements.

    OMCM Tool Framework.

    Example CTQs.

    New Systems.

    Time to Market.

    Increased Availability.

    Cost Measurements.

    Measuring Utilization.

    Regulatory Measurements.

    Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity.

    Desire to Implement N1 Grid Solutions.

    Change Acceptance.

    Benefits for People.

    Benefits for Processes.

    Benefits for Technology.

    Service Life Cycle Measurements.

    Testing Structure to Prove SLRs.

    Operational Maturity Measurements.

    People Management.

    Process Management.

    Policy Measurements.

    Security Measurements.


6. Analysis.

    Target Analysis.

    Brownfield or Greenfield.

    Heterogeneous or Specific Environments.


    Architectural Improvement.

    Efficiency Approach.

    Chaos Resolution With Efficiency.

    Proactive Organization.

    Service Management Efficiency.

    Policy and Environment Usage.

    Architectural Engagement Improvement Approach.

    Horizontal Engagement Analysis Points.

    Vertical Engagement Analysis Points.

    "Ilities" Engagement Analysis Points.

    Opportunity Engagement Analysis Points.

    Strategic Approach.

    Blade Servers.


    Testing and Development Environment.

    Application Server Farm.

    Service Creation.

    Increased Density.

    Utility Computing.

    Grid Computing.



7. Strategic Flexibility.

    Strategic Business Value.

    IT Efficiency and Strategic Flexibility.

    Leverage and OMCM.

    Architecture and Strategic Flexibility.

    SunTone Architecture Methodology.

    KBDs and CTQs.

    Immediate Return on Investment.

    Use Cases.

    Functional Requirements.

    Applied Architecture.

    Technical Requirements.


    Iterative Approach.

    Beginning the Transition.

    Future of Strategic Flexibility.

    Utility Computing.

    Grid Computing.

    Policy-Based Management.


8. Infrastructure Optimization.

    Building Infrastructure Optimization.

    Common Platforms.

    Goals and Benefits of Common Platforms.

    Enforced Standards.

    Goals and Benefits.

    Example of Enforced Standards.

    Modular Deployments.

    Building Modules.

    Deploying Modules Horizontally.

    Deploying Modules Vertically.

    Wire Once, Deploy Forever.

    Virtualizing the Infrastructure.

    Compute Components.

    Network Components.

    Storage Components.

    Virtualization Examples.

     N1 Grid Provisioning Server.

    N1 Grid Data Services Platform.

    Provisioning the Infrastructure.

    Saving Costs.

    Automatic Infrastructure Optimization.

    Basic Automated Operating System Provisioning.

    Image-Based Operating System Provisioning.

    Comprehensive Heterogeneous Infrastructure Provisioning.

    Automatic Infrastructure Provisioning Examples.

    Basic Provisioning Example.

    Image-Based Provisioning Example.

    Comprehensive Provisioning Example.

    Application Provisioning.


9. Application Optimization.

    Understanding Applications, Middleware, and Services.

    What Is an Application?

    What Is Middleware?

    What Is a Service?

    Building Application Optimization.

    Virtualizing the Application.

    Why Virtualization?

    Vertical Virtualization.

    Horizontal Virtualization.

    Vertical and Horizontal Virtualization Examples.

    Vertical Virtualization with N1 Grid Containers.

    Horizontal Virtualization with the N1 Grid Engine.

    Horizontal and Vertical Virtualization with the Sun Cluster Software.

    Provisioning the Application.

    Automated Deployment.

    Components and Plans.

    Observability Integration.

    N1 Grid Service Provisioning System.

    Object Model Components.

    Object Model Plans.


10. Data Center Optimization.

    The Dynamic Data Center.

    Strategic Flexibility.

    Build Automation.

    Deployment Automation.

    Optimization and Flexing.

    Observability and Optimization.


    Opportunities for Strategic Flexibility.

    Service Life Cycle Mobility.

    Increasing and Reducing Application Density.

    Service Promotion and Life Cycle Management.

    Increasing Utilization Using the N1 Grid Software.

    Road Map to Data Center Optimization.


    Build Automation.

    Deployment Automation.


    IT Management and the N1 Grid Software.

    Operators to System Administrators.

    System Administrators to Architects.

    Architects to Pattern Developers.

    Strategic Flexibility and the N1 Grid Software.

    Comparing Operational Efficiency with Strategic Flexibility.

    N1 Grid Data Services Platform.

    N1 Grid Provisioning Server.

    N1 Grid Containers.

    N1 Grid Service Provisioning System.


11. Virtualized Service-Centric IT Environment.

    Utility Computing.

    Service Utility.

    Utility Transformation.

    Utility Computing Enabling.

    Business Changes for Utility Computing.

    Utility Technologies and the N1 Grid Software.

    Analysis with Utility Computing.

    Service Level Management with Utility Computing.

    Consolidation with Utility Computing.

    Standards for the Next Decade.

    Grid Computing.

    Grid Architecture.

    Sun Systems and the Grid.

    Web Services and the Grid.

    Grid Applications Using the N1 Grid Software.

    Grids and Policies.

    Policy-Based Computing.

    Feedback Loop.


    Sensors and Observability.


    Policy-Based Computing and the N1 Grid Software.

    Capturing and Describing Policy.

    Preparing for Policy in the Data Center.



12. Telecom Case Study.

    Case Study Methodology.

    Business Drivers.

    Technical Drivers.


    Project Requirements.

    Metrics and Measurement.


    Project Risks.

    N1 Grid System Implementation.

    Infrastructure Optimization and the Sun Management Center Software.

    Application Optimization.

    Strategic Flexibility.


13. Implementation Products.

    N1 Grid Data Services Platform.

    N1 Grid Storage Architecture.

    The Promise and the Reality of Virtualization.

    Intelligent Storage Platform.

    N1 Grid Provisioning Server.

    Creation and Configuration of Server Farms.


    Software Image Management and Distribution.

    N1 Grid Containers.

    Solaris OS Resource Manager.

    Workload Classification.

    Centralized Management.

    Resource Controls.

    Differentiated Services.

    Resource Accounting.

    Ease of Use.

    Solaris OS Container Strategy.

    N1 Grid Service Provisioning System.

    Complexity Management.

    Application Awareness.


A. Enterprise Installation Standard.

B. References.




Scaling the Tidal Wave

The challenge we all face is comparable to scaling a tidal wave. It's that big and that kinetic.

We've already moved from a network of computers to a network of things that embed computers—wireless phones, two-way pagers, and other handsets, plus game players, teller machines, and automobiles. In short, billions of potential connections.

We are now beginning to build a network of things. Trillions of things. Things you'd hardly think of as computers—so-called "sub-IP" devices such as environmental sensors and radio frequency identification tags.

Soon, we'll be adding miniature ID tags to all kinds of products so that we can instantly discover not only the price of the item, but where and when it was made, how it was delivered, and a host of other useful data. In fact, such tags promise to enhance the efficiency of the whole supply chain, from maker to user to recycler. One of the interesting side effects will be a shift in the flow of information. Right now, most information flows outward on the Internet to end users. In the future, more information will flow back to the data center, much in the way a pit crew gathers telemetry from a race car today.

But, the unprecedented scale of this "network of things" raises serious concerns. How on earth is anyone supposed to manage all of the devices, all of the data, and all of the infrastructure?

Building N1 Grid™ Solutions provides a solution, a way to turn your data center into a single pool of resources that can be dynamically allocated. The aim of the N1 Grid technology is to automate change management, reduce complexity, better utilize resources, and lower total cost of ownership. What's more, N1 Grid solutions will make it possible to take distributed applications from concept to wide-scale deployment far more quickly.

With this new architecture, computers will not attach to networks, they will be built from networks. This shift enables you to operate on a radically higher scale—10,000-plus microprocessors, exabytes of storage, terabits of bandwidth, and billions of IP connections.

All of which will be imperative if you don't want to find yourself eating sand when the tidal wave hits.

Greg Papadopoulos
Chief Technology Officer
Sun Microsystems, Inc.


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