Deploying and Managing Today’s IT Workloads Part I

Part I: Essential Elements of a Workload’s Life

“4-mation of air, fire, land and water” by Kolix

For more than two thousand years, humans used four elements– earth, water, air and fire—to explain, describe and measure the known universe.   These essentials of life formed the foundation for all humankind and are still used today.

Similarly, IT organizations often use four elements – size, complexity, economic value and availability – to effectively deploy and manage today’s complex workloadsThe simple definition of a workload– defined as the amount of processing needed at any given time–has greatly evolved in recent years.

  • Size is based on the processor and threading requirements, memory consumption per workload, and I/O throughput or bandwidth needs.
  • Complexity arises in the way of disk capabilities and configuration, but also through the introduction of virtualization as a new infrastructure option for deploying workloads.
  • Economic value, while sometimes overlooked, is an imperative factor in the overall workload portfolio.  This can span understanding the cost for the use of infrastructure, or chargeback, or as the foundation for understanding on-premise or off-premise options.
  • Availability is the final consideration and includes performance, service levels, user demand, and other business expectations for the application associated with the workload.

Let’s consider a typical collaboration workload, such as Microsoft Exchange, running in a large insurance company.  With thousands of instances designed to support thousands of email users, we have workloads that test each of the four elements we outlined above.

First, size varies due to the number of mailboxes added or volume of emails per user.  Next, complexity is introduced, because our example organization is going through a major virtualization initiative.  So instead of our Exchange workloads running on dedicated physical hardware, we are running on a new shared resource environment.  Then we have economics at play.  Given that email is the lifeblood in many organizations, it’s often a tier one application and must be resilient and compliant to service levels.  And as a result, high availability and application performance are essential given the difficulty of generating revenues when sales representatives can’t submit orders or field inquiries from customers.

Dell understands today’s business imperatives and is delivering new value to our customers through enterprise workload solutions.  In talking with thousands of customers, we’ve focused our key tenets of value on helping organizations to:

  • Rely on a secure and compliant collaboration platform
  • Improve workforce productivity
  • Increase customer-facing time via a dynamic workplace
  • Save money, drive innovation and grow the business

For organizations that need to deploy and manage mission-critical collaboration workloads, Dell’s new PowerEdge 12th generation servers help our customers run complex workloads more efficiently.   We are working closely with Microsoft to provide joint delivery of hardware, software and professional services.  We are also partnering with Oracle and Microsoft to deliver a portfolio of data warehousing and analytics solutions, as well as teaming with providers like Ansys, Synopsis, MathWorks, and CD-Adapco for high performance computing (HPC) and other research and development workloads.  By increasing access for greater numbers of users, accelerating scientific results, and gaining faster access to data, Dell is delivering intelligent infrastructure and innovations to propel your business success.

Humankind now has an advanced understanding of earth, water, air and fire.  Likewise, IT teams need to evolve their understanding around the size, complexity, economic value and availability of their workloads in support of organizational agility and efficiency goals in their data center.

Check back tomorrow, when we will focus on Dell’s solutions for managing complex workloads using VIS and vStart solutions.

About the Author: Marc Stitt