Not everyone is ready for the N1 Grid technology. Many people are happy to manage disks and servers and network gear. Although this type of activity is still very important and very much needed, N1 Grid solutions give you the opportunity to look at business services differently and to deliver a very different type of value to the organization. The previously discussed measurements described examples of those different CTQs, but there is another important set of measurements to make: those that outline and help others to understand and to accelerate the acceptance of the changes that N1 Grid solutions offer your business. You should use measurements to work through the items you gathered during your definition phase as you analyze your stakeholders, mobilize commitment, engage resistance, and perform other technical, political, or cultural analyses.
Quite frankly, for a change to be effective and sustainable, the need for change must exceed the resistance to it. The CTQs discussed outline the measurable benefits of a virtualized, service-centric compute environment (that is, gathering knowledge that enables IT to deliver value to a business). The famous change acceptance process (CAP) formula for the effectiveness of a change is often written as QxA=E, or quality multiplied by acceptance equals effectiveness. Hopefully, this book can convince you that N1 Grid systems have a high quality value, so that a focus on acceptance will make the change maximally effective.
Chapter 4 helped you define what the N1 Grid architecture means to you and began defining and laying out an N1 Grid solution engagement in your environment. The scenarios discussed (as well as the "CTQ Measurements" on page 89) often involved a discussion of the stakeholders and the impact and opportunities of each scenario. These types of concepts mobilized commitment, focused leadership, compelling business need, and stakeholder analysis are very CAP-like concepts. You know best how to match the level of CAP analysis and adherence to the magnitude of the impact you feel is warranted. Automating the application layer clearly requires much less coordination and organizational CAP than something of the magnitude of virtualizing the network and compute resources and tipping the discussion of supplied capacity to business owners from a focus on the numbers of servers and storage to that of web connections per second. You know (or your CAP analysis would discover) what is best for your environment. You know best what your competition is doing, and you know best in what order and how much you need to unleash the types of organizational opportunities and business information focus that N1 Grid solutions provide.
Benefits for People
Another way to consider other aspects of your stakeholders is to consider their early acceptance behavior. FIGURE 5-5 shows the typical acceptance behavior of stakeholders.
Figure 5-5. Typical Stakeholder Attitude Charting
Are your stakeholders early adopters, or do they prefer to wait until after a technology is released? Can your culture handle a mix of new and old provisioning, new and old focus, or new and old skill sets? Is your staff experienced in, and have they bought into, standards or repeatable frameworks? Or, is there a culture of reactive chaos and resistance to procedures, standard builds, and processes?
N1 Grid technology reduces your organization's dependency on certain types of skills, while eliminating the sources of errors from those areas. At the same time, N1 Grid solutions require a skill set that is often a natural transition for the provisioners and installers, moving those skills up a level to focus the collected knowledge and experience in the environment on business. The metrics to understand the current skill sets of your staff, the service life cycle staffing needs, and the causes and duration of downtime are some of the useful types of data to gather for analyzing the benefits to your people. Use your organization's people to help the business increase profit and to gather better data for decision making, not on provisioning applications.
Benefits for Processes
The N1 Grid vision shifts the focus of processes from those that need to protect manual activities to those that set up testable and reusable frameworks. The N1 Grid software enables the use of new processes in which the flow of information from IT enables the business to make better decisions and in which business decisions are quickly reflected in the physical environment. N1 Grid software customers often find that these new processes are created for free, through the time gained from reduced errors, automated provisioning, and efficient observability. As discussed, the metrics to understand service life cycle times, the causes and duration of outages, application provisioning times (from service request to service running, not bit-code transfer times), and business continuity considerations show the capacity to be gained. Use your organization's cycles to help the business increase profit and to gather better data, not on provisioning applications.
Benefits for Technology
The N1 Grid software uses standards and frameworks to perform activities with greater precision. Existing assets can be more densely packed because the deployable entities are well understood and can be better constrained to not impact other running entities. Mobility separates what is being deployed from where it is going to be deployed. The same assets can be used in different ways on different days, or business continuity sites can be used for day-to-day business operations until they are needed and quickly provisioned as required.
New technology, old technology, Sun technology, non-Sun technology, different versions of the same service, and separate instances of the same service can all be controlled by the same provisioning and observability systems. The type of metrics to gather and use are the waste of "silo-ed" ownership (that is, the available compute, network, and storage capacity) and the cost of owning and maintaining redundant software components that perform the same tasks for different types or families of assets.