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Untitled Document

Sebastian Junger's 1993 book The Perfect Storm tells of the 1991 Halloween storm that destroyed a fishing vessel based out of Gloucester, Mass. The storm was actually the convergence of three different weather-related phenomena and resulted in 12 deaths and considerable damage to the Massachusetts and New Jersey coastlines.

The success of Junger's book brought the phrase "perfect storm" into popular culture. The term is used to describe the simultaneous occurrence of events which, taken individually, would be far less powerful than their combination.

A perfect storm in IT

Over the last decade, a "perfect storm" of sorts has occurred in the world of IT, bringing new challenges to IT management. IT infrastructures have become exceedingly complex, resulting in highly interconnected networks of new and powerful technologies.

These complex IT networks include new technologies such as server virtualization. They also include legacy distributed and mainframe computing environments that support millions of transactions through multi-tiered applications. Many of the day-to-day management activities supporting this complex environment are still performed manually, often with little repeatability and low reliability.

In this mode of operation, even the slightest human error can cause devastating service outages that adversely affect quality of service, top line revenues, and even a company's reputation. To make matters worse, government regulations and internal policies are demanding stricter governance and accountability. As if that were not enough, senior management is pressuring IT to reduce costs, while the complexity of the IT infrastructure seems to grow very year.

The eye of this perfect storm is the data center. To effectively manage your data center in this turbulent atmosphere, you have to navigate through territory in which the cost of mistakes can be substantial and the probability of making mistakes is increasing. As such, you must demonstrate agility and efficiency throughout the lifecycle of change, release, and configuration management.

It's also important to automate the lifecycle management of critical business services across the entire IT infrastructure, including physical and virtual servers, applications, network devices, and client systems. You must do this in an environment that is in a state of continual flux, with changing business conditions, a changing user base, and a continuing flood of patches and updates.


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