These are some typical ways that infrastructure management can give you
Server Upgrades at No Cost
A real estate information services firm operated a mission critical, 24
x 7 EDI system on 15 aged IBM AIX servers (R30s, R40s, R50s, 560s, 43ps,
C20). This infrastructure generated $7.2 million revenue annually and
therefore was extremely valuable to the company. However, due to the
fast-pace of the environment, the system ran on 8 to 10 year old
hardware, AIX 4.2.0, and AIX 4.3.1. IBM no longer provided operating
system support on the system, but they were providing hardware
maintenance. Due to the age of the equipment, the support was on a “best
effort” basis, without any part availability or service time guarantees.
Using standard asset and infrastructure management techniques, we
devised an upgrade to consolidate to 10 current-run servers (P610s,
P630s) on the latest operating system, 5L. Over the old system, the new
system offered system disk mirroring, memory error correction,
application disk mirroring, processor failure isolation and redundant
power supplies. The new system outperforms the old infrastructure better
than 4 times compute power and provides scalability for further growth.
The cost? – Less than what the old system would cost over 30 months.
Recognizing that the new system had more redundancy and faster
processing capabilities, the new system would likely pay for itself in
less than 1 year.
With the right information, cost-savings projects of this nature can get
approved even in tough economic times. Let Net Watch Solutions give you
the business intelligence to add value to your business.
Reach Out and Touch Someone
A software services company, as does most companies, had downtime on
occasion. The IT Operations group had several warning systems that
alerted when a server or network link went down. When a failure
occurred, the IT department would send out alerts to designated
customers via alpha pagers. No matter what the failure, all designates
got the alerts.
This communication approach caused several problems. With the number of
alerts and early warnings, all of the designates were inundated with
text pages. The system created an information overload, although the
information was not useful to most of the people who received it.
Furthermore, the frequency of the paging left everyone with an insecure
feeling that something was always broken somewhere.
Using standard asset management techniques, the customer was able to
identify whom each server affected. Similar information was determined
on many of the network links too. We gave the Operations group the
information whereby they could contact only the affected group when an
The phone call approach was well received. The operations group went
further to give the department designates proactive calls once a month
with useful statistics, capacity utilization, and disaster recovery
information. Rather than having an uneasy feeling, the business groups
felt confident that the IT groups were taking care of the business.
Helping the Business with Needed ROI
A real estate information services firm had a 2TB Informix mainframe
database to deliver customer property information. The database was
expansive; carrying numerous table values, and was a significant asset
to the company. Customers requested information in various formats,
based on standard and custom data queries.
The business departments felt they could create a data warehouse and
using mid-range systems query tools, be better able to predict key
business drivers. The business groups wanted to employ data mining
techniques to develop business intelligence data.
When the IT department specked out the infrastructure to support the
project, the Sun hardware costs were $1.2M. While the business was
fairly certain the investment was warranted, the high entry cost kept
the project from being approved.
Using standard asset management techniques, we were able to get the
hardware for $600K, half the cost. At the lower cost, the business was
able to get approval on the project and create the data warehouse in
anticipation of generating more revenue.
Making Friends With Accounting
Once a year, a data infrastructure group dreaded the infamous Fixed
Assets List. Yearly, the accounting asked the IT group to verify that
all of the fixed assets carried on the books by accounting were actually
in use. This list was used for two purposes, yearly tax depreciation
calculations and for paying property taxes.
Regretfully, the IT department had no way to reconcile the list. The
accounting department only had cryptic names and few serial numbers to
go by. Over time, systems purchased for one reason were used for other
purposes so historical information wasn’t useful in determining the
current state of the asset.
Using standard asset management techniques, the IT department began
maintaining current asset lists. Leased equipment was removed from the
depreciation tables and lost, salvage and inoperable equipment was
removed from the books. Not only were the tax obligations reduced, some
unused equipment was disposed while the asset still had some salvage
value. But more than anything, the accounting department was pleased
that the IT group was keeping better records on the company’s assets.