While it is a fact that N-Tier applications tend to provide almost limitless scalability, the desire to change or add new forms of functionality can present a challenge in more than one arena. Growth on a large scale can make capacity planning quite hard. When available resources have been exhausted by applications, then there must be some sort of provision made to borrow resources in order to support unexpected workloads. This is where manageability becomes key.
Manageability entails the sharing of resources, simplicity, and centralized management. Organizations are forced by complexity to maintain competitive levels of service via a flexible architecture that allows for reactive scalability as a means of having a positive impact on both cost and service level. Such challenges have proven that traditional forms of architecture are not able to efficiently make use of existing Information Technology infrastructures.
Each and every year, more and more users are depending on the World Wide Web as a means for conducting Business both in the personal and corporate sectors. Moreover, Businesses must differentiate between different classes of users while accounting for the different forms of usage. They must also maximize service level provisioning while simultaneously including performance, predictability, and service availability in these measures.
As a result the platform infrastructure must be designed with predictable and differentiated qualities of service in mind. What is needed is an infrastructure that will be able to support an application approach that is service based. This must be an N-Tier architecture that includes accounting and management, dynamic resource allocation, cluster support, infrastructure management, heterogeneous legacy integration, multi platform Java technology, as well as a multilevel security model.
As the world wide web continues to increase in vitality and more Businesses than ever before are going global, the cost of providing quality customer service is increasing thanks to the rapid changes in company growth, the cost of management, the complexities of implementation, the pace of deployment, and more. Businesses that wish to survive in this fast paced environment must provide high standards of service in their global operations in order to gain an advantage over the competition while simultaneously fostering the loyalty of consumers.
These days, competition is only a mouse click away. Thanks to all these changes in the Business sector, the scalability of infrastructures, availability, and manageability all become central factors as a means of increasing levels of service. Obviously, the ubiquity of the World Wide Web requires an increase in agility and flexibility. Enterprise wide information tools and infrastructures must constantly be improved in the new global competitive Business environment.
As the internet and corporate intranets continue to grow at a dizzying rate, Businesses have to position themselves for the agility and growth that is necessary to take on an increasing amount of users, more services, and a more challenging workload. Business requirements that change rapidly tend to force information systems to operate together with external and corporate resources in a reliable, interactive, secure fashion. At the same time, the flexibility to adapt to rapidly changing Business atmospheres has to be maintained.
The Information Technology infrastructure is now critical to competitiveness in the economic sector. Whereas this infrastructure once functioned as an internal form of support, nowadays it serves as the Business’s main profit vehicle and enables transactions to occur. Such demands tend to push the limits of information infrastructures as they currently exist. In order to remain competitive, Businesses are increasingly seeking solutions that manage to safeguard current investments in infrastructure while also deploying the necessary capabilities to provide a high degree of predictability, flexibility, and availability – all factors for success.
For front end Web server implementations, the scale out approach is a very good idea. It enables service requests to be handled by a pool of servers that are configured in a similar fashion, each of which provides the same services to all of the clients. The load balancing appliance or router distributes incoming requests evenly across the arm of the server. A hot standby load balancing appliance is in place to ensure there are no failure points, as well as redundant ISP connections.
As middleware applications grow more sophisticated, so does the practicality and value of scaling out in to the central tier of the N-Tier model. Just as in the front end instance, Businesses are then able to add on computing power in increments utilizing pools of cost effective Intel based servers. Rather than continuously outgrowing and then having to replace single server solutions, Businesses can then add servers on as they need them in order to accommodate growth over time.
Those seeking a major example of scaling out at its finest need look no further than the popular search engine Google. As a matter of fact, Google takes its scaling out process to the logical extreme, hosting both its search engine and its database over several thousand cheap uni-processor Intel based servers. Each of Google’s Intel servers is configured with two resident disk drives. As a means of streamlining its operations in such a huge distributed atmosphere, Google decided to develop its own applications for such functions as new server builds, load balancing, and remote management.
E-Business has been increasing the complexity as well as the volume of Business data. As more and more applications are integrated in to the enterprise and the volume of users increases, the integrity of data has to be controlled across larger stores of data. While clustering might be a common feature on the database and back end layers of the N-Tier model, the utilization of redundant numbers of cheap servers is not a very practical option at this point in time. Rather, a more traditional scaling up approach should continue to be the main method of scaling database applications in the near future.
The Utilization of Resources
By improving resource utilization, one can drastically reduce the costs of providing increased levels of service. Control through software and hardware must be taken on as a means of enabling more than just one single application to run on a single machine. It is paramount to consolidate servers if you want to increase your return on investment from resources that are under utilized. As mainframes tend to run at eighty to ninety percent of their capacity, systems that are distributed tend to run at merely fifteen to twenty five percent. Organizations are beginning to find that adjustments in allocation have to be made in order to take total advantage of available resources.
What is vital is finding a method for running several different applications on a single server. Each application should be given a minimal level of service that is free from resource contention and security concerns. Exercising control should enable dynamic adjustment via management policies.
Availability and Predictability
Businesses in this day and age are driven by information. IT infrastructures thus have a high demand placed on them – higher than ever before. There is an increasing need to get access to and analyze corporate data in real time, analyze trends, update databases, provide a high level of customer satisfaction – and all that in a 24-7 time structure. Computers can no longer just be used to increase capacity levels – they also have to be reliable, available, and predictable as a means of meeting user and application requirements.
A data center has to be available, due to the increasingly unpredictable demands made by the World Wide Web. Competition nowadays is just a click away; thus, services have to be made available around the clock so that they are always accessible to both clients and customers. Disruption of service has to be minimized – especially during routine maintenance and system upgrades.
It is necessary for systems to be capable of being patched online, repaired, and debugged. Resources have to be redirected in a direct, automatic, and dynamic fashion to make sure that service levels are maintained. In order to ensure maximum affectivity, Businesses must learn to deliver capacity, availability, and predictability through a well chosen infrastructure. They must also have a readily scalable and manageable operating system to work with.
Above all, Businesses must take the three P’s in to consideration: that is, people, product, and process. People and process will generally account for eighty percent of the system’s capacity to remain available; only twenty percent originates from within the system. It is thus vital to keep in mind product manageability – which helps reduce operator errors.
Manageability has an affect on both the people and process aspects of the system’s availability. By increasing availability, disciplined processes and procedures must be maintained in a consistent fashion. In order to have an impact on availability, infrastructure platforms have to simplify deployment, maintenance, and management segments of the operation.
In the scaling process of an IT infrastructure, a lot more complexity is the inevitable result. This increase in complexity has the unfortunate effect of rendering the data center environment much less capable of coping with rapid changes in applications as well as Business demand for services. It is true that the effort that is necessary for the management of resources tends to grow at a much faster pace than the resources themselves.
Thus, manageability tends to have a great impact on both availability and scalability. In order to be as effective as possible, a Business must make improvements on management efforts while further simplifying data center architecture. Towards that end, it is necessary for Businesses large and small to centralize, automate, and simplify as many processes as possible, while simultaneously incorporating a management framework that improves platform architecture manageability.