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Infrastructure as a Journey

Workplace mobility is and continues to be a journey for many organizations

I see and read a lot of IT articles almost demanding that organizations must do certain things to ensure that some piece of their infrastructure is secure, highly available, fault tolerant, agile, flexible, scalable, recoverable, cloud’able, whatever the silo needs or face the dire circumstances. I’m guilty of it too over the years. Organizations must have a WAF for PCI compliance or Remote employees need to have an encrypted tunnels to the corporate network or any other command pertaining to the health of your infrastructure.

Life is a Journey, Faith is a Journey and by golly, Business is a Journey. IT is tasked with supporting the business objectives, so why not Infrastructure as a Journey? We’ve seen part of this journey play out over the last 5 years as organizations first tried to understand the cloud, it’s various definitions/deployment models and the true business benefits. The cloud journey continues as more organizations test the waters, so to speak, and distribute their content over a hybrid infrastructure.

Workplace mobility is and continues to be a journey for many organizations. This started over 10 years ago with the first bricks, Palms and Blackberry’s making their way into employees hands. iPhones and Androids later, VDI, MDM, MAM and a host of other infrastructure solutions have come along to help with the mobile BYOx journey.

Security has always been a journey. Assessing, managing and mitigating the risk to the business. Security is probably an area that gets the most insistence to do something. For years the ever popular Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt has been used to urge companies to protect something in a certain way. With all the media coverage of data breaches and the reported mistakes (intentional or not) made along the way, it is easy to jump on the ‘you must do’ bandwagon. But all companies are different.

Also, organizations might not be able to obey all the mandates and accomplish everything they must. They might have tight budgets, limited staff, different priorities, varying risk or other variables that could prevent complete infrastructure  bliss. And over the next 5 years, there will probably be even more change that adds even greater hills and valleys to navigate. Just like life. I can also guarantee that your infrastructure will probably look nothing like it does today.

Your body’s infrastructure is what keeps us humans going day to day and your IT infrastructure is what keeps the business going. The infrastructure journey to a high performance, flexible, agile, application focused fabric with the ability to apply services across that fabric and the tools to manage it, is just beginning.

I realize there is incredible pressure to do more with less and have it done yesterday on top of dealing with the daily fires. Much easier said than done, but if you can think of your infrastructure as a journey, it might help prioritize the needs of your business and see what forks in the road are approaching rather than scrambling when the big one hits.

Journeys can take you to some interesting places as you progress from one stage to another. You try stuff, make mistakes, learn and make adjustments to address those and hopefully come out better on the other side. Just always remember to exhale and smile when you get there.

ps

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More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter Silva covers security for F5’s Technical Marketing Team. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Bringing the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together, he covers training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5’s security line. He's also produced over 200 F5 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. Prior to joining F5, he was the Business Development Manager with Pacific Wireless Communications. He’s also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others. He earned his B.S. from Marquette University, and is a certified instructor in the Wisconsin System of Vocational, Technical & Adult Education.

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