How to tidy an IT department?

Consolidation and virtualization dos not mean only lowering the costs of an IT department operation but mainly making it more efficient.

During the consolidation and virtualization, it is necessary to pay regard to the overall strategy of

building up and development of IT infrastructure which must follow the principles and solutions of High Availability and Disaster-Recovery considering an optimum operation.

IT infrastructure means the operation of the complex of technological components, servers, disk fields and SAN storage area network, operating system, etc., in various technical architectures, which we design on the basis of our long-term experience. We specialize in solutions of high availability for the operation of critical information systems where the continuous availability approaching 100% is required.

Made-to-measures solutions

It is the design of technical architecture which plays the key role, preceded by the specification of the requirements on the criticality, availability of information systems and data, performance and capacity requirements and of course the operation and implementation requirements. It requires a thorough analysis since every solution must generally be set into the existing IT environment. For us, the professional knowledge of IT technologies and their possibilities is being very important, while using the principles of consolidation, security, standardization, interoperability and expansibility from the viewpoint of protection of IT investments.

Consolidation – enables sharing and efficient use of available resources. In connection with virtualization and standardization, it creates conditions for such management of capacities which enables to cover the planned requirements and minimizes the volume of unused resources. In the field of consolidation, it is necessary to provide the widest use of central infrastructure possible as well as central services to support and manage the IT environment. A shift from use of the consolidated solutions is expected only in cases which are well-founded by specific operational and safety requirements. The consolidation is being motivated by lowering the price and easier administration.

Security – on the security level, it is necessary to cover all basic areas such as physical security, security of the environment and security of information and communication technologies. The analysis of risks and impacts which subsequently defines the requirements on the solution availability also forms part of security.

Standardization and interoperability – the principles of standardization is aimed at maximum use of standard and open technologies. The standardization must be at the same time aimed at reduction of the number of hardware and software architectures. The standardization is a necessary prerequisite for the correct functioning of technical units and their mutual interoperability.

Expansibility – within the expansibility, it is necessary to solve a relation between the costs and the life cycle of IT technologies. At the same time, it is necessary to consider that the requirements on IT infrastructure capacity will naturally expand during the operation. It is thus crucial to design an optimum initial state and set the development plan in order to be able to secure the necessary capacity in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Virtualization and Cloud Computing

AkWe apply the basic principles of Cloud Computing, as a systemic approach to building and using the technical architecture of IT infrastructure, in terms of architecture of conceptual reference model for Cloud Computing, which is defined and kept in the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

This approach provides two basic contributions:

  • IT infrastructure is being developed systemically and through a controlled manner, on the basis of principles of Cloud Computing defined by the provider.
  • A synergic effect of individual deliveries is being used, in the form of provisioning of services based on the existing IT infrastructure.

The basic view on creating the Cloud ready target state and thus also a target IT infrastructure is derived from the service model of Cloud Computing, making the IT infrastructure available in the form of specific scope of services divided into three categories:

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
  • Software as a service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a service (PaaS)

Our solutions are based on two basic systemically managed cloud categories within the IT infrastructure, namely IaaS and PaaS so that on the basis of the structured model of services, it is possible to secure the gradual building of IT infrastructure necessary for delivery of these services.

IaaS – is provided in the form of server and storage hosting, which guarantees high availability within the location of one data center and according to the reference architecture based on the standardization of the environment and defined related prototypes, meeting the most frequent requirements for the implementation of information systems.

The defined prototypes consider the following principles:

  • covering the technologies and solutions the implementation of which is the most frequent in the client’s environment,
  • consolidation of IT environment,
  • lowering the operational demands on operational costs,
  • standardization and unification.

For a typical solution, two alternatives of physical and virtual servers are proposed:

  • virtual RISC server (Prototyp VR)
  • virtual x86 server (Prototyp VX)
  • physical RISC server (Prototyp FR)
  • physical x86 server (Prototyp FX)

On the basis of these principles, the IT infrastructure in the recommended solution is being built in suitable manner by achieving the high availability and disaster recovery. It is made possible by using the two geographically separated (remote) physical locations, where the information systems are located so that their components create logical unit. The components of the information system and data are set so that the information system with the requirement of the high availability provides continuously the required services even despite non-availability of one of the physical locations. In case of non-availability of one physical location, the information systems themselves are then possible to be implemented so that they provide the same portfolio of services with the same response to the given number of users and transactions as it is in case of availability of all physical locations; or it is possible to alternatively provide lower standard of services during the outages of one of the physical locations.

The solution of consolidation and virtualization of storage infrastructure supports at the same time the ILM principles (Information Lifecycle Management), preceded by the data classification (determining the importance of individual data and information for a business). Definitions of necessary capacities for particular classes of data follow the existing volume and anticipated increases in data and their character. The network layer , way of connection, software tools for management and monitoring, systems and processes for backup and recovery, data archiving as well as support for a long-term archive – this all forms part of the design.

PaaS – represents a support of the entire life cycle of building the applications, including the possibility of a design, development, testing and applying. The PaaS layer will be aimed at building of that part of infrastructure which provides services of a complex platform, where the operation will be derived from the IT infrastructure, but it will be provided using the basic computing sources built within IaaS.

On the basis of logic architecture of information systems, it is possible to specify the following model scope of required PaaS services:

  • database server with the standard or high availability for the database from the defined scope,
  • HTTP server from the defined scope,
  • application J2EE/Microsoſt .NET server from the defined scope with the standard or high availability.

Get acquainted with the advantages:

  • increased level of IT sources use – it can be mainly expected in the field of computing power and storage,
  • increased level of securing the continuity of operation in case of an incident (disaster tolerance),
  • optimisation of procurement and operational costs,
  • possibility of central strategy and optimisation of implementation of solutions of a recovery after an incident (disaster recovery).
  • increased flexibility in using the IT sources,
  • possibility of unification and centralization of operation management and support,
  • optimal use of further existing sources (area, connectivity, operational security systems, operational support),
  • possibilities of optimisation in capacity planning,

We implement the projects in the field of consolidation and virtualization of IT environment by means of our trained and certified specialists and suppliers of IT technologies:

  • CompTIA Cloud Essentials
  • IBM Certified Specialist
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional
  • VMware Certified Professional
  • IBM Certified Deployment Professional
  • IBM Certified Systems Expert
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist