IT, you know, Information Technology. So ubiquitous yet so ambiguous.
IT means different things to different people in different organizations. For many, especially end-users, IT means “the network guys.” You know, the ones in charge of the networking infrastructure and often the first to hear the cry of “the network is <slow, down, broken, insert you own adjective here>” regardless of the cause. That’s where we dig in with our network analysis tools to see which way the meter points – to the network, server, or beyond (think multi-tier).
IT can be broken down into at least five different areas:
1) Network or Fabric--NICs, cables, switches, routers, DHCP server, etc.
2) Security--from internal users to firewalls and IDS.
3) Desktop and Apps --the end-user platform/OS and applications.
4) Servers--from file-to-Web servers, not to mention mutil-tier app and DBMS
5) Storage--not the hard drives or RAID inside a server per se, but rather, the storage network.
So now the problem of managing IT infrastructure has been made substantially more complex. Not only do we have more distributed technology than ever but we also have the various IT groups to deal with: network managers, storage managers, database administrators, and so on.
Maybe the problem isn’t in the Network area per se, but perhaps in the fabric that supports distributed and shared data storage. But wait a minute, isn’t that the Network too even if it is in the back-end? Witness the increasing use of iSCSI for instance. With Ethernet cranking up to 10 Gig our networks are indeed converging to far more than just the so-called triple play of voice/video/data. Think storage interconnect too, and not just confined to the data center.
“The Network is the Computer” was a phrase coined and trademarked by Sun although you don’t see them use it much anymore. Maybe that’s because the network is also the storage. Heck, the network is everything. It gives us so much more to analyze.
Are you the guy with the network analysis tools? Now go talk to your storage manager.