Chapter 8 discussed the importance of optimizing the infrastructure. Similar to the overall goals of the N1 Grid system, infrastructure optimization focuses on reducing cost and complexity in the data center. However, an optimized infrastructure only provides value to the IT organization. While important, infrastructure alone cannot deliver the required services that IT organizations are chartered to support. Providing a payroll service, or an order activation system, or a customer care system is an IT service deliverable. These services, and their consistent and efficient delivery, are what IT organizations are ultimately measured against. Unfortunately, the inherent data center problems of cost and complexity exist across the service level too.
Application optimization is the second component in the N1 Grid system functional architecture. With proper focus and execution, the critical-to-quality issues (CTQs) associated with application delivery can be vastly improved. Application optimization represents another significant step toward achieving the vision of the N1 Grid system.
Application optimization maps to the SunTone AM. The third and fourth layers of the SunTone AM, middleware and applications, directly support the delivery of services. This consistent architectural view assists in the delivery of the required solution to directly address the requirements mentioned above. That solution is the focus of this chapter.
The solution required to achieve complete application optimization is delivered by using the hierarchical building-block architecture of build, virtualize, and provision (FIGURE 9-1):
Figure 9-1. Application Optimization Building-Block Architecture
Just like infrastructure optimization, this is a hierarchical architecture with no specific dependencies. Any component can be executed without dependency on the preceding component. Specific execution is driven by specific requirements. The sections that follow explore each of the architecture steps and provide examples where appropriate.