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Optimal Service Delivery

Overcome eight key challenges and reduce costs

Overcome eight key challenges and reduce costs

Managing today’s complex server environments, networks and IT infrastructures is challenging. Most organizations have tools and disciplines in place to provide basic availability management, including hardware and software monitoring capabilities. However, IT staff may not have the skills or time to support and implement notification handling, performance and capacity management, security management, configuration management and automation. With the pressure to do more with less, how can an organization balance the need to drive down costs and improve delivery of system administration, information access, remote access, and problem and change management?

This article surveys the challenges and solutions for effective management of your server infrastructures and network devices, as well as important disciplines such as availability management and the tools you need to support a complex IT environment.

Understanding Challenges

An infrastructure typically consists of a broadly heterogeneous collection of elements such as servers, virtual machines, logical partitions, routers, switches, wireless appliances, disks, processors, operating systems, middleware and database instances, and batch jobs. All of these elements can be mapped, more or less, into a simple framework as shown in Figure 1.

The management of an organization’s heterogeneous and complex IT infrastructure is often a significant portion of your total cost of ownership (TCO). Getting costs under control while also meeting your service-level commitments requires a focus on the following eight areas of infrastructure-management challenges:

  • Detect and handle incidents and problems.
  • Handle changes with minimal impact on availability.
  • Prevent security problems.
  • Effectively implement emerging or challenging technologies.
  • Maintain server software and firmware.
  • Employ useful reporting indicators.
  • Supply the right tools.
  • Rapidly deploy infrastructure and tools with ongoing management.

The fast pace of change in today’s business environment requires rapid systems deployment and tools that provide ongoing support.

Joseph Gulla is the general manager and IT leader of Alazar Press, a publisher of award-winning children’s books. Joe is a frequent contributor to IBM Destination z (the community where all things mainframe converge) and writes weekly for the IT Trendz blog where he explores a wide range of topics that interconnect with IBM Z.



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