As described in the Chapter 7, the architectural path for realizing the N1 Grid vision has three distinct functional requirements. Infrastructure optimization is the first building block of that functional architecture. The requirement for infrastructure optimization is driven by the common complaints of the modern data center: cost and complexity. When data center managers are asked what their problems are, they list the same issues:
Focusing on these CTQs is the overall goal of the N1 Grid system. Infrastructure is specifically addressed as the first building block of the N1 Grid system architecture because it truly is the foundational component of the system. The vision of the N1 Grid is about a new approach to the data center that redefines the meaning of the system.
The individual pieces of compute, network, and storage hardware that exist in the data center today become the elementary components of this new system. This is an important concept because the entire infrastructure plays a role in this new system. No wholesale system upgrades are required. As the elementary components, the elements of the infrastructure must be optimized first to achieve the goal of strategic flexibility. Viewing the infrastructure as the foundation of the system is consistent with the first two layers of the SunTone AM: the hardware and the operating system. Using this consistent architectural view, you can deliver a solution to directly address the previously mentioned CTQs.
To achieve complete infrastructure optimization, you must use the build, virtualize, and provision building-block process (FIGURE 8-1):
Figure 8-1. Building-Block Architecture
Although this is a hierarchical architecture, there are no specific dependencies between the building blocks at this level. Any component of infrastructure optimization can be executed without being dependent on the one that precedes it. Specific execution is driven by specific requirements.