I T's Challenge
the past three tears, the world has changed for information technology groups.
In the late 1990s, the predominant problem was deploying equipment and software
quickly enough to keep up with demand for computing. While the tech sector boomed
on Wall Street, money was no object. IT budgets swelled and the numbers of computers
in data centers grew exponentially.
in the early 2000s, the picture is very different. IT budgets are flat down, yet
business demand for IT services continues to escalate. This combination of more
demand and constrained budgets has compelled IT groups to consider new approaches
to IT infrastructure, approaches that offer more flexibility and lower cost of
The common theme is cost cutting. In today's world, profits come
less easily than in 1990s. Competitors are more experienced, and competition is
more intense. Corporations that trim costs while providing great service will
prevail over those that can't.
a major role in this competitive situation. As competition becomes more intense,
so does the pressure on IT to cut costs and boost contribution. Now more than
ever, large corporations are using their computing assets as tools to pull ahead
of the competition.
Winning through Modularity
Janet Matsuda, SGI's director of Graphics Product Marketing, says: "Modularity
offers both savings and scalability so that customers don't waste their money
on what they don't want and can spend it on what they do want."
Goldfarb, group vice president at analyst firm IDC, agrees: "Modular computing
empowers end users to build the kind of environment that they need not only today
but over time.
Doing More With Less
keep up with computing demand while operating within restricted budgets, IT must
find ways to optimally use computing resources and reduce people costs. There
are many areas of improvement.
Cost of Over-Provisioning
data centers have moved toward servers and away mainframes, IT has found that
some mainframe capabilities weren't available on servers. A glaring example is
that smaller servers were unable to rapidly obtain more processing power to accommodate
peaks in computing demand.As applications became more transactional, for example
with customers entering information via the Web, these peaks in computing demand
became more visible.
During peak demand, customers
saw their transactions slow down. In situations where these transactions affect
the bottom line, as when customers enter purchases, prompt processing becomes
vital to the business.As the number of customers using Web services has increased,
the peaks in computing demand became more intense and more frequent. Consequently,
customers more frequently saw declines in performance.
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