Turning Sheds Into IT Infrastructure

Shed building 101:

If you find yourself in the market for a new shed you have three choices:

  1. DIY: Go to the local lumber yard, buy a bunch of material that you think you may need, truck it home, empty it on the lawn and start construction. This will of course be met with several additional trips to the lumber yard and will also have its moments of some serious head scratching. Depending on your skill and experience, you will go through some trial and error, but with any luck at the end of the weekend you have a structure that resembles a shed and keeps the weather out.
  2. Blueprint: Take some time to draft a blueprint and design that matches your requirements for a shed. Include measurements and ideally even include a material list. Then you have the exact amount of materials delivered and start construction. The building process goes smoothly and assuming you measure twice and cut once, you work efficiently off the plan and at the end of the day you have a shed that resembles what you designed on paper.
  3. Turnkey: Drive to the local shed store, browse the parking lot lined with sheds and pick the one that matches your needs. Drive back home and wait for the shed to be delivered and set up. Before the delivery truck pulls out of your driveway you can start filling the shed.

We can apply this exact analogy to IT. IT is comprised of DIYs that have made a living taking hardware, software, and some common sense to build impressive IT systems. Of course in many cases this was the only option IT had. We have gotten better and when we can we use blueprints or reference architectures as a guideline to help accelerate deployment and boost our confidence in implementation. But there is a better way.

IT vendors are designing, building, and delivering hardware platforms that are comprised of server, networking, and storage coupled with a hypervisor and management stack that has enormous potential to simplify IT infrastructure decisions. This turnkey approach can greatly simplify IT’s decision, making criteria, implementation process, and troubleshooting simple, and saving IT time.

The transition to turnkey solutions is not going to happen overnight, but any IT organization in a hardware refresh cycle or about to kick off a new project that requires the procurement of new hardware should consider this approach. Great economic savings can be realized in time to value, ongoing IT operations, and renewed focused on higher IT priorities that aren’t focused on maintaining existing investments.

ESG has done extensive research in this area and will continue to do so in 2013 to monitor purchasing trends, buying behavior, and vendor solutions in the market.

See the following ESG Market Landscape Report for more information:

Virtual Computing Infrastructures: The Movement Toward Integrated Computing: The Foundations for Cloud

Research Brief: Virtualized Computing Infrastructure Preferences

Topics: Cloud Services & Orchestration