IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsJanuary 2012                                       Make Your Architecture ...
IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 1Table of ContentsOverview .............................................
IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 2                  Overview                  Architecture matters—to ...
IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 3                  A complex environment requires the staff to work l...
IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 4                  Financial issues are the total cost of ownership (...
IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 5                  2: Parallel Databases/Clusters                  Da...
IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 6                  3: Resource Virtualization                  Resour...
IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 7                  4: Industrial Strength                  Industrial...
IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 8                  Continuous availability is what the business has i...
IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 9                  Automation should be dynamic—permitting immediate ...
IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 10                  Ensuring your staff stands out                  Y...
IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 11                  About the Authors:                  Mike Mardis, ...
IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical Skills                  Copyright IBM Corporation 2012                  IBM Syst...
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Make Your Architecture Serve Your Company’s Needs and Your Own Career Goals

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Architecture matters—to your company and to your staff. Today’s business critical solutions are the heartbeat of your company’s ability to deliver product and services, and its ability to adapt to changing business demands. These business critical solutions are completely dependent on the architecture upon which they run. The computing systems, the networks; and the enabling operating systems, databases, and middleware are the components which together make up the architecture.

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Make Your Architecture Serve Your Company’s Needs and Your Own Career Goals

  1. 1. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsJanuary 2012 Make Your Architecture Serve Your Company’s Needs and Your Own Career Goals A guide to best practices solutions for your enterprise resource planning infrastructure Authors: Mike Mardis Mike Sheets Travis Smith
  2. 2. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 1Table of ContentsOverview .......................................................................................................................................2Problems with your operational environment................................................................................2Best practice solutions .................................................................................................................3 1: Architecture Design...............................................................................................................3 2: Parallel Databases/Clusters ..................................................................................................5 3: Resource Virtualization ..........................................................................................................6 4: Industrial Strength .................................................................................................................7 5: Continuous Availability and Disaster Recovery.....................................................................7 6: Automation.............................................................................................................................8 7: Workload Management .........................................................................................................9 8: Security..................................................................................................................................9 9: Workload Consolidation.........................................................................................................9Ensuring your staff stands out ....................................................................................................10Summary.....................................................................................................................................10About the Authors: ......................................................................................................................11
  3. 3. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 2 Overview Architecture matters—to your company and to your staff. Today’s business critical solutions are the heartbeat of your company’s ability to deliver product and services, and its ability to adapt to changing business demands. These business critical solutions are completely dependent on the architecture upon which they run. The computing systems, the networks; and the enabling operating systems, databases, and middleware are the components which together make up the architecture. And, your IT staff is the mechanism which makes the architecture run and the people who respond to business priorities and solve technical problems. You want those people to be the best in the industry to ensure your business critical solutions are robust and that they enable you to respond to the needs of your clients. Likewise, the individuals that make up your staff want to be recognized as exceptional in what they do, and they want to contribute to the company’s success. They do not want to be limited to commodity skills that can be easily replaced by IT support located half a world away world. So, architecture matters to both your company and to your staff. But, how do we know if we have the right architecture? There are best practice solutions in the industry which differentiate and enterprise architecture from commodity architecture. Problems with your operational environment Today’s datacenter is filled with hundreds or thousands, of computers and a series of networks connecting these systems, with thousands or hundreds of thousands of devices that your employees depend on every day. The cost of the computers in the datacenter is a small fraction of the total cost of business operations, but the value to your company is enormous. These systems give the company the information it needs to compete. Your architecture is a multiplier. With the right IT architecture a company can succeed. With the wrong architecture a company can become mired in a death spiral of cut backs, failure, and more cut backs. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions are complex. Many companies have ERP implementations which include hundreds of computers with operating systems, databases, and associated middleware that contribute to your business—all of which require management, monitoring, maintenance, and upgrading. ERP solutions interface with thousands of other systems. And, they also require management, monitoring, maintenance, and upgrades. This results in an extremely complex ERP environment. The complexity makes your infrastructure expensive to operate and highly susceptible to human error.
  4. 4. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 3 A complex environment requires the staff to work long hours for long periods of time. In order to reduce costs, companies frequently operate in surge mode requiring people to cover multiple positions. When not at their desk, they may often be on-call resulting in fatigue and low morale. This may result in human error that can escalate into a costly outage. Although they know that their skills provide them with job security, they are also aware that services firms offer remote IT support which can endanger their position. They have little job security and are not likely to perform well. All of these factors can contribute to costly staff turnover. Best practice solutions Best practices solutions are hardware and software Best Practices Solutions combinations which are recognized by the industry and 1. Architectural Design have proven to be reliable, cost efficient, and robust. They 2. Parallel Databases/Clusters are not what your vendor trumpets as the latest and greatest 3. Resource Virtualization with the shiniest packaging. Those new products may 4. Industrial Strength 5. Continuous Availability and become best practice products, but unless your company Disaster Recovery thrives on “bleeding edge solutions,” they are probably not 6. Automation the right choice for complex enterprise solutions on which 7. Workload Management your business depends. 8. Security 9. Workload Consolidation Likewise, best practice solutions are not often aging products whose capabilities have been replaced by newer technologies. Best practice solutions combine the best of old and new. They take proven winning characteristics of earlier generations of products and incorporate them into new technologies to provide competitive advantage. There are nine best practice solutions which underlay successful modern day enterprise environments. These solutions are not products that you buy. They are the practices which are incorporated into products. Without best practices capabilities a product cannot be a best practice product. 1: Architecture Design Architecture design considers four issues in deciding what technologies to include: Business issues are the requirements that must be met to be successful in a highly competitive business environment. Technology is not purchased by a company for its own sake, nor for the convenience of its employees. It is purchased to provide availability, scalability, security, and flexibility required by your business. We include performance inside availability because a system which is not performing well enough to meet business needs is in effect not available.
  5. 5. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 4 Financial issues are the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a solution. TCO can make or break the company regardless of service level objectives. It includes all costs over the lifespan of the solution. This includes the Total Cost of Acquisition (TCA) plus other costs to operate and upgrade the solution over its lifetime. TCO is directly related to Return on Investment (ROI). A lower TCO results in a higher ROI. But, a key component of TCO is the cost of not achieving the necessary Service Level Objectives (SLO). For instance, if the business requires that all transactions be secure, and if it is discovered that those transactions are not secure, then the company will lose money in one form or another. It will either incur higher expenses of penalties or repair/rebuilding costs, or lost revenue from not achieving the required security SLO. It also important to consider the financial issues of both the project implementation phase and the operational phase. Because these phases do not have the same requirements they will not have the same financial issues. The costs of both phases must be included in the financial evaluation. Project issues are the architectural and financial issues involved in activities of the project implementation. They involve buildup of development staff, the implementation of hardware and software, and the operation of former solution while implementing the new. Architecture design during this phase must consider the need for flexibility—the ability to bring up new, and to retire old environments (development, quality assurance, training, development sandbox) and the access needed by the project development staff. The architecture must consider that pre-production environments are notoriously peaky. The peak workload in one environment should not occur at the same point in time of other environments. Availability during the project phase is important to ensure that expensive development resources like external consultants are not idle, and that project timelines are met so that the new system is ready to go-live on the date planned. Operational issues include the support of all end user workload, as opposed to a few hundred developers during the project phase. It includes workload peaks tied to business operation not the development phase. Security becomes a business critical issue as customer data and the protection of critical business operations become paramount. Surge capacity to meet go-live as well as peak periods of operational demand such as end of month or end of year processing must be considered. Continuous availability (including reliable performance) as well as disaster recovery also becomes critically important during the operational phase.
  6. 6. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 5 2: Parallel Databases/Clusters Databases are often a critical component in an enterprise system. Without them the rest of the system is useless. Parallel databases or clustered databases are an industry standard way of ensuring that databases are available when you need them. There are two reasons for implementing parallel databases. Availability ensures that should something happen to a system upon which the database depends, that a separate database can pick up the workload and continue supporting the business until the failed component is again available. There are two types of outages which affect availability: Unplanned outages are outages resulting from a device or a software failure. These “puff of smoke in the back of a data center” are not expected, but which must be planned for even though they do not occur often. Planned outages are outages that are scheduled in advance. They include preventative maintenance, release upgrades, and operational activities which cannot be performed while the system is running. Scalability is the second reason for implementing a parallel database. A database must be able to grow large enough to satisfy business requirements otherwise it is not be scalable. There are two types of scalability: Vertical scalability is the ability for a single database to grow. This is limited by the maximum size of the computer it is running on, but it is also sometimes a limit of the operating system which runs on hardware. Horizontal scalability is the ability to add additional copies of the database and to run all these copies as if they were a single database. It is horizontal scalability which gives parallel databases their name. All the individual database members must operate in parallel and appear to be a single database. Horizontal databases are extremely sophisticated because they must be able to run while ensuring data integrity and reliable performance. It is not the ability to run in parallel that differentiates one vendor’s parallel database from another’s, it is what happens during an outage that is the real indicator of the value of a parallel database.
  7. 7. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 6 3: Resource Virtualization Resource virtualization is the ability to logically share physical resources such as processors, memory, I/O adapters, and DASD/disk between multiple systems. The sharing of these resources must be transparent to the using systems. These sharing processes must be implemented securely to ensure that one system cannot access the data or the applications of another system. Make Your Architecture Serve Your Company’s Needs and Your Own Career Goals Simple example of enterprise workload consolidation with virtualization Four workloads each requiring nine engines With simple consolidation, instead of during peak periods. 36 engines the workload can be can run with only 23 engines. This is a 36% reduction With additional advanced workload and partition management, the workload can run with only 19 engines. This is a total reduction of 47%. © 2011 IBM Corporation Resource sharing allows system resources to achieve a higher level of utilization than if those resources were allocated permanently to a single system. It is common to find systems with dedicated resources running at only 10-15% utilization. The unused capacity sits idle, but still requires power, produces heat, takes up space, and requires maintenance.
  8. 8. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 7 4: Industrial Strength Industrial strength means the IT systems have capabilities needed by intensive workload processing systems with corresponding continuous availability, centralized and reliable management tools, and high levels of security required. Examples of industrial strength include: – Large database manageability – Parallel/Clustered databases – Network management – Online reorganization – Data and index compression – Database table management as well as tablespace management – Partitioning by growth – Cloning of systems for recovery, refresh, backup, and reset activities – Enterprise backup and recovery – Remote parallel databases (both synchronous and asynchronous) – Ability to change operating characteristics on the fly (workload priorities, partitioning, database schemes, etc) 5: Continuous Availability and Disaster Recovery Continuous availability is the combination of high availability and continuous operations High availability is the avoidance of unplanned outages. On distributed solutions this is typically a hardware statement only. On mainframe systems this is typically a hardware/operating system/database statement. It is common for vendors to claim some number of “9”s of availability, such at 99.999%. This means that the systems only have about five minutes of unplanned downtime per year. Slow or irregular performance is a form of an unplanned outage. Continuous operation is the avoidance of planned outages (sometimes called preventative maintenance). Planned outages are much more common than unplanned outages. Planned outages often make up many hours of downtime each week. Examples of planned outages would include offline backups, table reorganization, application of hardware, operating system, database, or application maintenance, upgrades of hardware, operating systems, databases, or applications, etc.
  9. 9. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 8 Continuous availability is what the business has in mind when they state their service level objectives. This is the amount of time they have access to the company’s applications and data. Continuous availability includes not only the systems upon which the applications run, but also dependent systems without which the critical applications would not be useful. Disaster recovery (DR) is the ability for critical workloads to failover to alternate systems should the host systems for those applications fail. Failure could be due to something inside the system, or it could be due to a facility failure such as power or air conditioning. Two types of disaster recovery are usually planned for: Synchronous DR is where a secondary data center is close enough to the primary datacenter that data replication can be synchronous resulting in zero data loss. For these systems we need a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of zero and a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of zero. Asynchronous DR is where the secondary data center is farther away than a synchronous connection can be reliably operated. For these asynchronous configurations the RTO can be just a few minutes, and RPO can be a few seconds. 6: Automation Automation is the configuring of daily processes so their operation can be executed without manual human interaction. This is more than job scheduling. Automation provides the intelligent interaction that a process might normally expect from an administrator or an operator. Examples of automation include alert management, interface management, systems management, database management, and etc. Automation is necessary for continuous availability. Without automation a human administrator would have to configure the failover system and the failover process, as well as to ensure the end users and scheduled batch jobs find the machine in its new location and at its new network address. Automation must integrate with all dependent components. It reduces manpower costs and increases the quality of service to the end user community. Automation improves security. Automation should be full functioned and mature. There should be published scripts available for common components such as locking and serialization of servers and databases. They should be fully integrated into the systems workload management prioritization mechanism as well as the systems resource allocation mechanism.
  10. 10. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 9 Automation should be dynamic—permitting immediate changes based on workload characteristics and SLO demands. It should be automatic—capable of making frequent adjustments to handle scheduled or planned changes. It should be able to be configured to meet specific needs of each system—not generic. And it should require zero operator or administrator intervention and no rebooting of the system. 7: Workload Management Workload management should be able to prioritize work according to service level objectives defined by the business. It should not be a relative prioritization system in which some processes have priorities defined in relation to other priorities. Workload management should be capable of affecting dependent systems as well, to ensure that critical business processes are completed even when multiple systems are involved in the process. 8: Security Security involves the protection of data and applications. It involves the protection and auditing of systems, databases, applications, networks, and storage. Security issues to consider include: – EAL 5 certification – Database trusted context with enhancing authentication – Database roles with enhancing authorization and auditing – Encrypting specific tables with strong encryption – DASD/disk encryption with strong encryption – Tape storage encryption with strong encryption – DRDA data stream encryption between the database and the application servers 9: Workload Consolidation Workload consolidation involves the consolidation of enterprise workloads at one of three levels: Consolidation of disparate systems into a common datacenter to deliver consistent operational support and to reduce costs through economies of scale. Consolidation of multiple workloads into a common system to make use of resource sharing and enterprise tools such as automation and centralized management tools. Consolidation of multiple applications with similar schemes into a single application with a common set of data. An example of this is consolidation of multiple regional systems a single global instance.
  11. 11. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 10 Ensuring your staff stands out Your IT staff is the key to making your IT systems serve the business needs. Implementing enterprise solutions with the above best practices affects you and your staff in two ways: Daily operational impact on you and your staff. This includes risk mitigation due to improved security, reduced manual activity due to automation and reduced night time and weekend work due to continuous availability. This leads to improved customer satisfaction due to continuous availability and prioritized workload management, and improved IT visibility within the corporation due to improved business responsiveness and reduced TCO and improved ROI. Career impact with your present company and with future companies. Implementing best practices adds to your portfolio of skills. Having enterprise skills is a differentiator which enables you and your staff to stand out in your peer group of professionals as someone having both distributed as well as enterprise skills and experience. Skills learned on an enterprise system can be transferred to other platforms which make you more valuable and increase the job security for you and your staff. Many IT professionals feel the threat of an remote consultant working for pennies on the dollar. These consultants have experience in commodity operating systems and databases. They are good for off shift system monitoring, but are not usually reliable or dependable for critical IT activities. Differentiating your and your staff’s skills from these resources means superior support for your company’s end users and suppliers as well as a higher morale for your internal staff upon who you are most dependent. Summary Your architecture can help you address problems with your daily operational environment and with your staff. Architecture is an enabler for modern companies—in effect a multiplier. It can turn a small problem in to a business failure, or it can take a small initiative and turn it into a competitive advantage. Architecture is a mechanism which differentiates run-of-the- mill technical staff, from an enterprise skilled professional who responds confidently to changes in business direction, and stands above the crowd struggling to find a place in the industry. Implementing business critical solutions on enterprise architectures is the key for both your company and for your staff. For more information about IBM Solutions implementing best practices policies please click on the following link: IBM Smarter Computing IT Optimization for SAP.
  12. 12. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical SkillsPage 11 About the Authors: Mike Mardis, Mike Sheets, and Travis Smith are members of the World-Wide IBM System z® SAP Solutions Advanced Technical Skills teams based in North America. They have over 30 years experience each in areas covering enterprise systems technology, IT architecture design, product development, market management, and sales.
  13. 13. IBM Americas Solutions Advanced Technical Skills Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, New York 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America, 01/2012 IBM, IBM logo, System z and zEnterprise are trademarks or registered trademarks of the International Business Machines Corporation. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Java and all Java based trademarks and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. All statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only. Performance is in Internal Throughput Rate (ITR) ratio based on measurements and projections using standard IBM benchmarks in a controlled environment. The actual throughput that any user will experience will vary depending upon considerations such as the amount of multiprogramming in the user’s job stream, the I/O configuration, the storage configuration, and the workload processed. Therefore, no assurance can be given that an individual user will achieve throughput improvements equivalent to the performance ratios stated here. ZSL03162-USEN-00

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