Many companies share the vision of effortlessly exchanging information and
using it for faster, more flexible collaboration among their employees and with
their partners and customers. However, typical enterprise networks are separated
into standalone silos for different uses and departments, so it is difficult
to support uncomplicated collaboration or flexible information sharing. Enterprise
IT architects must overcome these limitations at the network and services level
to reap the true benefits of unified communications.
The network needs to deliver a wide variety of reusable services to both users
and applications. These include general services such as identity management,
mobility, security, data storage and data processing, as well as specific services
such as voice call control, data encryption, message logging and protocol translation.
Using these network services, the IT staff can develop companywide tools and
business processes for supporting multimedia collaboration among users and applications
in an easy, scalable way.
Building a Service-Oriented Data Center
Service delivery must be simple, unencumbered by the need to accommodate different
architectures, types of systems, protocols, operating systems, policies and
boundaries. In a service-oriented data center environment, processing power,
storage and communications are drawn from one big pool of resources only when
needed. Hundreds or thousands of applications that are handling business processes
for an entire enterprise can run from this central data center.
A data center model built on a service-oriented network architecture, or SONA,
is a significant improvement on the typical data center environment, in which
every application or department has its own dedicated group of servers, storage
units and linkages --often comprising different hardware and software components.
Servers sit in silos, chronically underused. Provisioning a new application
can take months and is incredibly labor-intensive.
Conversely, in the service-oriented data center model, previously scattered
and dedicated resources are housed in a single location. Data center administrators
can automatically orchestrate all of the resources required by an application,
so the application can be provisioned in a day or less. Resources are managed
for optimal levels, reducing costs and ensuring guaranteed levels of availability.