|By Adrian Bridgwater||
|May 27, 2014 10:00 AM EDT||
It's a logical suggestion after all, i.e., that the mission-critical enterprise is getting wider.
In truth, the mission-critical enterprise is getting wider, deeper, longer, broader and altogether bigger. But what does that mean?
In practical terms we are stating that the "granular depth" of the mission-critical enterprise has increased in both overall external size and internal granular richness.
Once again we need to ask, what does that really mean?
Previously Unimaginable Externality
In terms of external size, firms in all verticals and of all sizes are finding that the new connected world of ecommerce means that they partner with more firms, increase the scope of their supply chain, open up new markets and generally operate at a (potentially) broader level if their products and services proposition is one that finds a profitable level of market success.
Or to put it another way, firms can diversify in previously unimaginable ways now and potentially sell more as a result.
Increasing Granular Granularity
Looking internally, we can also see a bigger universe unfolding.
From the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) applications and cloud hosting / application-processing services that populate our back-end systems, through the traditional core IT stack that the business knows well, then onward to new IoT (Internet of Things) related embedded computing considerations - the granularity of our IT universe has been amplified to never before seen levels.
There's nothing to get surprised or shocked about here; this is only progress after all. Silicon wafer technology has been expanding in complexity since the birth of Moore's Law and every other aspect of IT that we usually identify has similarly proliferated, expanded and diversified at the same time.
We can logically expect vendors to respond to these new truths and offer management control suites to shoulder the tasks of a) coping with the increasing complexity that is evident b) dealing with much more ‘always-on' computing that will touch areas like continuous deliver and continuous application availability b) managing mission-critical workloads in the face of the risk of unplanned downtime and d) the actual development of mission-critical operating system to boost performance.
HP for its part has for some time now talked about Project Odyssey, a project that the company asserts will help redefine the future of mission-critical computing - the firm this month extends HP Integrity solutions as an additional offering in this regard.
"Enterprises everywhere are required to handle significant data volume while providing customers continuous access and availability to their mission-critical workloads," said Ric Lewis, vice president and general manager, enterprise servers business, HP. "The latest enhancements to our HP Integrity solutions demonstrate HP's commitment to provide customers with purpose-built, highly-available infrastructure capabilities for their most critical applications."
What this will mean in terms of product developments (from all vendors) is that we are likely to see computing components capable of upgrading cloud-based application services to newer, better, faster versions - but once again, with zero downtime. More detailed mechanics will also surface, the type of technology that can handle virtualized I/O reconfiguration tasks, but without system downtime.
Who Will Use This New Stack of IT?
The end point of this argument (for now at least) is that the complexity here described will not be the sole preserve of big monolithic enterprises. Instead, smaller to medium-sized businesses must be able to adopt these technologies if a) they are to be able to grow and realize their full potential and b) the "as little or as much as you want" promise of cloud is going to blossom as it should.
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
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