Journey towards a Dynamic Infrastructure

DQI Bureau
New Update

The world is getting smarter. Every day, the world is becoming more

instrumented, interconnected and intelligent, creating new

opportunities at both a societal and organizational level. Connected

people, places and things will tax the world's infrastructure at

exponential rates, generating dramatically more data, the need for more

computing power, and the need to manage it all.  Companies are

also drowning in data as every day the world generating 15 new

petabytes of information . Alongside security threats are increasing as

are massive inefficiencies as Data center energy costs continue to

rise. In addition, since 1996 spend on IT Infrastructure maintenance

has grown 6 times from 26b to 120b, almost 85% of server capacity sits

idle (in a distributed environment), while organizations continue to

spend 70% of IT budgets on maintaining current IT Infrastructure.

The necessity to evolve an IT infrastructure from a state of a reactive
service provider to an active participant in business development

cannot be overemphasized.  Apart from focusing on efficient

service delivery, CIOs constantly look for creative ways to turn their

IT organizations into profit centers.  More and more

organizations are looking for means to operate in a lean environment,

especially the given economic landscape.  At a first glance,

often this metamorphosis can seem to be a daunting task — in

reality however, taking simple steps to assimilate key technologies can

help organizations cross this chasm.

Like the rest of the world, India and Indians are leveraging the
benefits of society, businesses, and government operating smarter

through increasing instrumentation, interconnectedness and


The need for Indian companies to have an infrastructure that enables
them to optimize on the opportunity this transformation creates is

paramount. For example, Reserve Bank of India estimates that around 40

per cent of Indians lack access to formal financial services and are

largely 'unbanked'.  However, there are over 452 million

mobile phone connections, with over 13 million subscribers getting

added every month. In this situation the option of Mobile Banking

becomes a huge step in enabling the country to operate

smarter.  However this also means an increased need for

physical and digital infrastructure to support the connectivity needed

between entities like banks, citizens, the government as well as

necessary infrastructure to store, manage the data. The data could

further be used to design and deliver other citizen services or

increase the   potential of financial services for

the huge numbers of unbanked in India.  

Owing to growth pressures, many organizations resort to Infrastructure
procurements that are relevant individual projects.  IT

implementations have been based on tactical needs.  As

business demands grew, implicitly resulting in an Infrastructure sprawl

leaving islands of infrastructure to be managed.  The economic

landscape changed subsequently providing lesser options for the already

stifled IT organizations to undertake any new IT optimization

initiatives.  Manageability framework became

compartmentalized, resulting in multiplicity of standards and adding

human resources overheads.  Today, many organizations are

living with such fragmented IT strategy, albeit in varying scales, not

being able to force-multiply the benefits arising out of newer IT

infrastructure initiatives.  Many a times, IT leaders find

that the time to realize the benefits arising out of such initiatives

is stretched out too long.  As a result, they find it

increasingly difficult to justify these new projects to their

respective corporation.

Believe it or not, there is a common sense approach to addressing these
problems. Irrespective of the status, building certain characteristics

will help alleviate pave the way for a Dynamic IT

infrastructure.  These attributes should form the basic

technology building blocks — the IT operations, governance

and management framework should be developed based on these--

efficiency Improvement

— There should be a maniacal focus on driving IT efficiency

through improved utilization of assets —both hardware and


- Sharing of

resources should be another important trait that improves

utilization.  In a shared environment, there is active

collaboration and participation from all stake holders: this gives rise

to newer and creative ideas on improving usage, better processes and


- IT should enable

various service level improvement functions — for both

customer facing and internal IT groups.

From a technology standpoint, building above-mentioned characteristics
into IT is an evolutionary journey consists of changes to technology

and processes.  Various projects outlined below provide good

starting points for this journey.

  • Physical Consolidation of

    individual systems should be evaluated, as a first step.  If
    there are multiple data centers, consolidate them into fewer.Â

    This should be carried out in a manner that phased and there is

    sufficient time is allocated between major changes so that IT achieves

    a level of incremental stability.   All discrete

    components that are currently available should be considered as

    candidates for consolidation.
  • Server and Storage

    virtualization will help achieve unprecedented levels of

    utilization.  This will also help with sharing of resources

    between the IT groups, since they are all under one virtualization

  • Consolidation of

    applications and associated data is then essential to ensure that the

    information infrastructure suitably leverages the underlying systems.
  • Standardization on common

    set of tools for production deployment, management and monitoring will

    lead to reduced training efforts
  • Continuous monitoring,

    management and improvement of Power and Cooling Consumption across all

    IT equipments and data center facilities should be considered as one of

    key projects of Dynamic Infrastructure.  

As can be surmised, Server and Storage Consolidation and Virtualization

is deemed to be the disruptive technology which sets the foundation to

achieve the goals of Dynamic Infrastructure.  For IT

departments which are forced to stretch on time and money,

Virtualization can offer an excellent means of reducing costs and

improving service delivery.  Compartmentalized infrastructures

with burdensome energy requirements can benefit from Virtualization

through consolidation and resource sharing.  Goals associated

with Carbon emission, Green Data Center can be realized easily.

Quite obviously, Virtualization empowers organizations by taking back
control of the infrastructure and allows taking concrete steps in

moving IT towards a profit center.  Benefits ranging from cost

to management to flexibility become a natural by product.

Apart from resource sharing, reduced foot print, reduced power and
cooling requirements results in lower operating costs.Â

Standardization of tools and software leads to reduced training

requirements.  Above all, an incremental change implemented,

will automatically trickle down to various groups across resulting in

multiplied benefits.

Operating at a logical layer without having to worry about the nuances
of underlying physical infrastructure and associated limitations, helps

increase IT flexibility.   The ease and rapidity of

resource can help improve the service levels dramatically.

In today's environment where there is a constant push for
doing more with less, Dynamic Infrastructure provides the ingredients

to build elements of flexibility, resiliency while continuously

focusing on cost reduction and improved utilization.  As

outlined earlier, journey towards a Dynamic Infrastructure can consist

of multiple initiatives which can be adopted at the pace desired by

organization — all with incremental rewards and benefits.

Views Expressed are of IBM