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Conclusion: As storage vendors increasingly include active-active storage in their proposals, IT Executives must move beyond a naïve understanding of what it is, to a deeper understanding of the scenarios under which it can deliver a benefit, the risks it mitigates, and where is fits within the overall redundancy and availability architecture.

Since active-active storage typically comes at a significant additional cost it is important that a cost/risk/benefit analysis be undertaken to avoid paying an unnecessary premium that becomes a burden on the business. This cost/risk/benefit analysis can only be done in the context of the organisation’s specific application portfolio.

Conclusion: Technology increasingly is a commodity that can be sourced externally. In contrast, trustworthy data has become a highly prized asset. Data storage can be outsourced, and even SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) technology can be sourced from the Cloud, but the patterns of data flow in a service-oriented architecture represent the unique digital DNA of an organisation – these patterns and the associated data structures represent the platform for the development of innovative digital services.

Conclusion: Due to recent advances in IT infrastructure, the capital cost of VDI is now comparable to that of a Full Desktop, making it suitable for a wider range of use cases. However, there remain significant project risks due to the large upfront infrastructure costs and the very high technical risks associated with building the VDI infrastructure. IT organisations need to understand these costs and risks and then formally develop mitigation strategies to control these.

Conclusion: Disaster recovery continues to be an issue for many clients. Approaches based on tape have a low cost benefit but often recovery takes too long to meet the business’ requirements. The popular new approach of replicating data to a secondary data centre enables rapid recovery but at a cost which is prohibitive for some applications or smaller organisations.

An emerging third approach is to use Cloud infrastructure (IaaS) as a warm standby. This is attractive both in terms of cost and recovery time and can also be used as a strategic stepping stone for adopting IaaS.

Conclusion: IT organisations wishing to maximise Public Cloud return on investment should adopt a Cloud Governance Maturity Model that ensures consistent delivery, builds trust and leverages new technology. This will enable IT organisations to effectively manage their sourcing portfolio by balancing cost and risks, creating value and realising the desired benefits.

One of the most common and contentious infrastructure discussions that I have with clients today is the Public Cloud. The views of most IT executives have shifted from “if” to “when, what and how”. Like other big IT shifts, whether it be Mainframe to Midrange, the PC or Unix/RISC to virtualised Intel, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth by the old guard about what will, frankly, become the new normal within the next 5-7 years.

Conclusion: It has become common for IT staff to refer to their on-premises virtualised infrastructure as a Cloud. The unchallenged assumption is that their on-premises environment is as good as a Public Cloud (aka IaaS) and provides the same benefits.

IT Executives and Enterprise Architects need to un-collapse these two concepts and recognise that while a virtualised on-premises environment has many benefits it does not have all the benefits of a Public Cloud – i.e., pay-as-you-go, hyper-scale, massive scale-up and scale-down.

Conclusion: When faced with the need to upgrade the desktop, rather than viewing this as a refresh or modernisation project (which is an IT centric approach to technology issues) undertake a business centric Application Delivery roadmap that focuses on the end-user’s application experience and the business benefits.

An Application Delivery approach will reduce project risks by highlighting the linkages between the project and the business benefits, prioritising the delivery stages of the project to get value early in the project, and ensuring application delivery methods are aligned to the user’s needs, ensuring a high quality user experience.

Related Articles:

"The desktop is dead. Long live application delivery! - Part I" IBRS, 2013-10-29 00:00:00

Conclusion: Mobile devices have fundamentally different patching and upgrade cycles compared to the desktop models of which IT services staff are familiar. The key differences are: more frequent refresh cycles, cloud-based updates that generally are not manageable by the organisation, Internet-based rather than intranet-based delivery of upgrades. Managing mobile patches and upgrades will more about end-user communication, training, and change management than technology.

Conclusion: With IT infrastructure having gone through major changes in the last five years, due to virtualisation and cloud technologies, organisations should challenge their assumptions about storage, and evolve their strategy prior to the next major storage acquisition.

Rather than assume the current networked storage centric strategy is the right approach, and simply needs a minor update, organisations should look at how their IT infrastructure has changed in the five years, then evaluate alternative approaches such as Integrated Systems or networked storage free Unified Systems.

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