Web-Scale IT Creates Fast and Flexible Infrastructure

By: Albert McKeon| - Leave a comment

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Web-scale IT has empowered tech giants to reach the top by providing scalable cloud computing and agile DevOps practices so they can meet the diverse needs of their customers. But this IT infrastructure model isn’t reserved for just Fortune 500 giants. Your enterprise can also dream big, improve efficiencies and reduce costs by building a data center model that operates like a global cloud provider’s infrastructure but on a smaller, more affordable scale.

This new approach to IT will allow your company rethink how it conducts business and reaches customers. With a redesigned IT infrastructure that automates with ease and works to proper scale, your enterprise can keep operation costs low and have the flexibility to meet new and complex business demands.

Web-Scale IT Shatters Legacy Limitations

According to Network Computing, Gartner coined the term “web-scale IT” to define how enterprises can emulate the IT delivery service capabilities of the top cloud-based companies. Companies can’t rely on the guesswork of capacity planning that’s required of legacy systems if they want to drive business growth in a demanding digital age.

Thanks to the flexibility of cloud computing, this new IT model can surpass legacy infrastructure limitations, aiming “to take cues from the cloud and not only make it easier to connect to and utilize cloud environments but also introduce increased scalability and agility to the data center, application development and the business as a whole,” as CyberTrend explains.

Integrating New Technology

Web-scale IT doesn’t come in one tidy package, however, as it isn’t a service. Rather, it’s a template for how your enterprise can approach infrastructure and DevOps. Fortunately, your organization might already use some or all of the required tools, and your IT pros might already have many of the necessary skills to implement it.

Aside from cloud services, your enterprise should also invest in web-oriented structures and open-source software and embrace proven DevOps practices. The cost of any new technology doesn’t have to match the cost paid by Fortune 500 companies. Your enterprise is simply investing in tools that level the playing field for everyone.

Fresh Perspectives

Going down this new path requires more than new technology. Network World suggests that your IT team should answer a set of questions to shift from a maintenance perspective to an architecture and design-forward perspective. These questions include:

  • How much compute do we have?
  • How much can we store, and how fast?
  • How often do things change?
  • What’s the horizon for growth?
  • What’s the strategy for failure recovery?

The answers will determine how you can improve capacity and choose the appropriate technologies. They will also establish the speed and focus of your processes and how effectively IT and other departments will collaborate.

It goes without saying that trying a new IT approach requires employee training. Network Computing recommends broadening the skill sets of your network operations team and having everyone think about their jobs differently.

IT management should also reallocate human resources to improve efficiencies. Network Computing urges enterprises to automate every possible task to reduce and eliminate human error and allow employees to scale their productivity.

Reaping the Reward

In 2014, Gartner predicted that the influence of DevOps on IT culture, tools and processes would drive web-scale IT to become the architectural approach of 50 percent of enterprises by this year. Granted, revamping something as fundamental as IT operations might give employees pause, but as Gartner argued back then, automation reduces risk by allowing enterprises to work fast and be safe. With this IT model, your enterprise can take advantage of a business model that’s flexible and scalable and can quickly create what customers want.

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About The Author

Albert McKeon

Freelance Writer

Albert McKeon covers technology, health, business, politics and entertainment. He previously worked as a newspaper reporter for 16 years on the staffs of The Telegraph (N.H.) and Boston Herald, winning the New England Press Association’s Journalist of the Year award and other honors. He now writes as a freelancer for several magazines and news outlets, and creates content for organizations such as Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston College.

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