I’ve written a bit about the agile data center lately. I’ve previously defined the agile data center as something that “allows organizations to efficiently and effectively add, remove and change services at the speed of the business, not the speed of technology.”
I still stand by that definition but I wanted to expand on it a bit. Agility does allow organizations to ‘add, remove and changes services’ quickly and easily. I recently watched a talk by Symantec’s Jeff Hausman and Drew Meyer that described the agile data center a bit better than my original definition. During Jeff and Drew’s talk, they used a slide (shown below) to help define the agile data center perfectly. They define it as “Delivering the right services…in the right way…to the right user.” (Note: The slide uses ‘resources’ instead of services…I paraphrased a bit). That’s a perfect definition (and one that I wish I had come up with).
My original definition still stands as it fits well into this new definition but I really like having a focus on the ‘user’ that this new definition brings. By expressly adding the user to the definition, it forces us in IT to keep our users and clients in mind when designing new systems or applications and/or making changes to existing platforms.
Building (and managing) an agile data center allows the IT group to do exactly what is described in this slide. An agile data center allows the IT group to deliver the right services in the right way at the right time for the right user(s) within the organization.
In addition to the definition itself, the above slide provides some excellent insight into the use of Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) technologies, Platform-As-A-Service (or Software-As-A-Service), agile / elastic infrastructure and ‘metadata’ to help organizations make this new definition a reality. In addition, each ‘sphere’ shown in the image above helps to drive agile thinking within the data center and within the IT group as a whole.
If CIO’s and IT professionals keep this new definition in mind when designing and planning their data centers (and anything else they do for the organization), they’ll quickly earn a reputation as a business solutions team rather than a technology management team.
Delivering the right services at the right time in the right way to the right user is a perfect mantra for each and every IT professional today. Now, they just need to find a way to make that mantra a reality within their organizations by building the idea into everything they do.
Additionally, with this mantra in mind, it becomes much easier to plan, build and manage the agile data center within the organization.