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No more fixed models!

F Y Teng | Aug. 28, 2009
Infrastructures have to evolve in synch with the businesses they power, according to industry veteran.

Ross Hammond, the managing director of Emerson Network Power Singapore

Computerworld Singapore (CWS) recently interviewed an expert with 15 years of experience in the interrelated fields of data centre, power and network management: Ross Hammond, the managing director of Emerson Network Power Singapore. He told us what he thought enterprises ought to be doing with their IT infrastructures today, where they should go to maximise the returns on their technology investments, and how his company is responding to customer needs in the next year or so.

CWS: What do you see as the most important network management priorities today?

Businesses need to understand their current business process and explore how this process will change in the next 12 months to 5 years. Armed with this knowledge they will then make informed IT choices and initiatives.

In the past, the approach to IT infrastructure has been to create fixed models that were designed to serve the business for 10 to 20 years. This model worked well in the 1990s and early 2000s but with the advent of spiraling IT costs and shortening equipment life cycles, the notion that IT infrastructure needs to evolve in synch with the business and deliver a return on the investment made has changed this formula.

The most important element on the infrastructure side today is to do something thats very counter intuitive for business leaders and that is to plan for the unexpected! Its no longer enough to have a system that just meets the system availability SLA [service level agreement] requirements. Increases and reductions in unforeseen capacity demand can come as much from business decisionsacquisitions and divestmentsas they will from technology changeslegacy computing equipment to blade technology.

In short, good business planning must be flexible at the best total cost.

What do you personally see as something that ought to be a top priority of all organisations but somehow is almost always overlooked or completely missed?

Businesses need to focus on solutions that are designed to adapt to changes in technology or business environments, while maintaining or improving availability and efficiency. With this focus, businesses can create a dynamic critical infrastructure that supports IT agility and enables operational efficiencies that contribute to business innovation and competitive advantage.

Such an adaptive approach will help business: respond to rising energy costs with high-efficiency power and cooling solutions; remove barriers to new technology deployments imposed by power and cooling limitations; increase computing capacity without building a new facility; add redundancy to achieve higher levels of availability without disrupting operations; and, add power and cooling capacity without impacting system reliability.

Where do you see complexity, issues and opportunities in networking in the next 12 months?


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