Change that stands the test of time: Best Practices


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Charting a new IT course means boldly going forward--with a plan.

Change is in the air. Whether it's national politics or IT infrastructure trends, people are yearning for new and creative solutions to their problems. In many ways, this desire for change appears to stem from a feeling that we've lost control and need to remedy the situation.

In the storage world, this trouble can be traced to what we call "hypergrowth." This growth has placed a considerable strain on the management of storage infrastructures, and the problem is now exacerbated by the following trends:

  • New categories of data: Rich media and other storage-hungry data types are becoming commonplace.

  • New application categories: As firms strive to establish competitive advantage, new application categories (many of them under the banner of Web 2.0 initiatives) are springing up. These can introduce additional service-level requirements and consumption challenges.

  • Increased service-level demands from traditional business processes.

When staking out a future technology direction that can sustain an organization through the next decade, the challenge is to embrace the right kind of change. Like steering a ship, getting from point A to point B requires navigation

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skills and constant course correction.

Among the biggest challenges is avoiding a design that will need major revisions in three years. Given the rapid changes in technology, there's a fine line between embracing innovative technologies and avoiding the bleeding edge. So how does one design a long-term architecture? Let's examine the process and speculate on likely technology directions.

This was first published in July 2008

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