This chapter identified the implications of preparing for the N1 Grid solution where the network is used as the fundamental organizing principle to define, implement, and manage services. It also introduced some of the benefits of using Sun methodologies, tools, and models. Hopefully, you are starting to recognize where the N1 Grid system would make sense in your environment.
N1 Grid solutions enables datacenter resources to efficiently act as a single system. N1 Grid systems do not change the need for:
To leverage the architecture methodologies and to realize the benefits of the N1 Grid architecture, you should consider, prioritize, and organize the following:
FIGURE 4-5 describes a simplified N1 Grid feedback loop on a particular service component, where optimization functionality serves as the link between an observe function and a control function. Although simple, this diagram serves as a visual for the types of policies you need to consider. Currently, there is a lot of activity in the industry to develop service models, information models, and the ability to connect business rules to drive network, compute, and storage elements and the services that reside on those elements.
Figure 4-5. N1 Grid Software Negative Feedback Loop
As demonstrated in the architecture section, there are potentially many layers in the service stack and quite a bit of granularity in the definition of service. For each of these layers, there needs to be a structure to the observability function that accompanies the structure of control function, which was discussed in "Application Provisioning" on page 62.
Even if you do not create policies that completely automate these decisions, some thought into high-level rules, or at least the beginning of guidelines, should be undertaken. Many of these definitions and considerations from an operational, application readiness, and IT business and business governance perspective have been discussed in this chapter. Areas to consider include:
The N1 Grid software provides a lot of options, but defining where to begin to implement the N1 Grid software is really about defining where you want to start introducing order and stability to your organization and environment to enable flexibility and agility. All of the architecture, processes, policies, and security aspects flow from your desire to create repeatable frameworks that are completely mobile, and a desire to leverage maximally flexible layers and tiers that operate within well-defined areas of entitlement with the visibility and data needed to enable your business to act, react, and leverage the environment for value and market differentiation.
N1 Grid systems enable large changes where you want them to, but they are really about enabling incremental change, creating efficiencies where they currently do not exist, or leveraging existing efficiency into a component of business value. The N1 Grid vision is about enabling and extracting business value from IT so that you begin to use the N1 Grid technology and treat IT like a business. You can start slowly and build on initial successes. N1 Grid architectures focus on repeatable ideas and business flows by default and place the network firmly back into network-centric services. If you have identified places to start, Chapter 5 discusses the next steps to take gathering and using measurements that enable you to unambiguously demonstrate success to guide further analysis and verification of the success of implementing an N1 Grid solution.