Chapter 1 captured the main problems encountered in the data center today, namely too much cost and complexity, along with poor utilization and a lack of agility. These problems do not exist in isolation. They have developed, and are intimately associated with, the evolution of services and the infrastructures on which they run.
The solution lies in abstraction an evident trend within the space of the developer, but not within the space of systems vendors, or data center architects or managers, who still tend to think and manage in terms of discrete servers, storage, and network devices. This chapter describes the technology trends that shape the data center and an approach to the data center namely the N1 Grid strategy that solves the main problems. Sun's N1 Grid vision and strategy drive solution architectures and products that ultimately redefine the nature of the data center. They also redefine the role of the data center, both within an enterprise and beyond, within the context of a global grid. The N1 Grid strategy turns a collection of servers, storage, and network elements within a data center into a new system. This system can then be easily architected, implemented, and managed, achieving better efficiency, greater agility, and lower cost.
The N1 Grid vision changes the definition of a system, turning it into something that manages real services based on business policies. It hides the complexity of the modern data center, ultimately enabling the sharing of workloads beyond an individual data center and across multiple data centers within an enterprise. N1 Grid solutions enable greater flexibility and realize genuine opportunities for compute utilities.