Building a Smarter Infrastructure
Though I’m attending a number of meetings throughout Europe this week, it’s not too early to start beating the drum for our IBM Pulse 2010 conference next week in Las Vegas.
Can you hear the drums all the way from here in Stuttgart!? Dies ist gut!
Once again, I’ll be in Vegas for several days in a row to play some serious golf, finally take in that Cirques du Soleil show I’ve been putting off seeing, and try to qualify and become the first IBMer ever to win the World Series of Poker.
Uh, err, I mean, I’ll be on the scene in Vegas providing some social media air cover via this blog and the Twittersphere….no, really.
Since snow golf is out here in Stuttgart, I figured I would start setting the scene now.
If you’ve seen any of IBM’s smarter planet advertising, particularly the TV spots, you’ve probably seen them reference the idea of a more dynamic infrastructure.
What, exactly, do we mean by that?
Well, if you look at the three big ideas that help us build a smarter planet — instrument the world’s systems; interconnect them; and make them more intelligent — then you realize inherent in that instrumentation and interconnectivity is the need to know what’s going on with all those systems at all times, and to use their performance data to make actionable (and, hopefully, intelligent) business decisions.
That’s where service management for a dynamic infrastructure comes into play.
To put it more simply, think of your IT systems and infrastructure as the patient, and service management as the monitoring system.
You can’t the make patient better unless you can diagnose them and be able to understand what’s going on with them at any given moment.
A smarter infrastructure also means one that is dynamic, one that can respond quickly and dependably to changing conditions in the market and make the most use of your precious IT resources — but it must doing so while also being cognizant of and minimizing the costs to the environment (carbon footprint, electricity usage, etc.) and your organization (money spent on IT!).
By way of example, since 2006, IBM customer Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT), which runs the Roland Garros (French Open) tennis tournament annually, has seen a decrease of 40 percent in power consumption and of 48 percent of cooling load in its own IT infrastructure.
They’ve also created a “virtualized” infrastructure, one whereby they’ve minimized their server footprint from 60 to 6 over a three-year period.
Game, set, and match, right?
But a dynamic infrastructure doesn’t stop at the halls of IT, or courtside in Paris.
A smarter infrastructure is one that meets new requirements and opportunities: One that increases the accuracy of simulations and predictions by supporting more complex trending and analysis tools. One that allows the integration of physical, chemical, biological, and even socioeconomic factors into modeling and analysis.
In other words, it’s not just about service levels anymore. Consumer expectations are higher than ever.
Take the world I live and breathe in, the wacky world of the Web, as an example: 33 percent of consumers shopping via a broadband connection will wait no more than four seconds for a Web page to render.
No pressure or anything.
So, the opportunity that a smarter and more dynamic infrastructure presents is simple: One that can help organizations meet both the risks and opportunities in an ever-more connected, collaborative electronic world.
That’s the wide shot.
In a future post, I’ll talk about the opportunity and avenues that organizations can pursue to take some initial steps towards building their own smarter infrastructure.
But for now, I have to get back to practicing my German.