Before I start this set of posts I feel the need to qualify my background. I spent my first 5 years in IT as a Mainframe operator before progressing to Open Systems, in particular IBM AIX (POWER) and HP HP-UX (PA-RISC) based systems. My first real foray into x86 (Intel) based processing came with the advent of Linux and in particular SuSE (now SLES).
I was often lambasted for being anti-Microsoft by colleagues, although they never seemed to realise that I had no real dislike of the Microsoft organisation, rather I could perform most of the 'services' each of the 30-40 W-Intel servers provided from a single UNIX, in my case AIX, server. I never understood the rationale of one 'service' one 'server' that seemed to be prevalent within the Microsoft W-Intel team.
So it isn't as a W-Intel advocate that I write these posts, rather as a mature Mainframe/Open Systems Enterprise Architect who can recognise a business benefit when he sees it.
So what is the benefit I can see?
Essentially it as around the commoditisation of IT and the move towards a converged infrastructure and its ability to now host critical business applications such as SAP and Oracle. In 2010 the world wide UNIX server market was reported to be worth in the region of $10.1Billion and it is expected that by 2014 up to 35% of this installed base would have migrated to Linux, this means at least a $3Billion market opportunity, and organisations won't be deploying Linux onto proprietary processor architectures.
For many years IT departments have wrestled with the 5 year (in some cases 7 year) refresh cycle, that requires huge capital investment and staffing costs to 'upgrade' their businesses core systems. Proprietary UNIX is no longer the most cost-effective way to deploy critical business systems and the once untouchable areas of fault tolerance and MTBF of these systems is becoming more difficult to defend.
Imagine a more agile infrastructure based on commodity hardware, accessible hypervisor and operating system technologies and fully integrated to ensure complete functional compatibility, with a purpose built systems management solution. Wouldn't this be the answer to many (not all) of your top concerns as an IT professional?
With the advent of converged infrastructures we are now very close, in fact I'd go so far as to say we are ready, to make the move from proprietary UNIX based architectures to commodity based architectures. Some statement I hear you say, has Dave Shepherd lost his mind? No I don't think I have (or at least I hope I haven't).
All the major IT vendors are aligning to a converged infrastructure model Vblock (EMC, VMware, Cisco), HP, Dell and IBM. They all believe that a simpler more agile architecture based on commodity hardware and software that is managed by a single purpose built systems management solution is the way forward. You might not find IBM and HP shouting about this, mainly because they will be trying to protect their mainstay proprietary UNIX markets, but they do provide offerings in this space.
Over the next few months I am going to investigate and go into more detail around these converged infrastructures and hopefully enlighten you to both the business and technical benefits to migrating away from proprietary UNIX architectures to commodity x86 based architectures to run your business critical systems.
‘For more information please click - HERE’
‘This post is brought to you in partnership with Intel(R) as part of the "Technology in tomorrow's cloud & virtual desktop" series’