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What is Web-Scale IT ?

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What is Web-Scale IT ?

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For many, web-scale IT is an alien and drastic approach being met with fear and resistance. So the first question for any organization should be; what is it? Cameron Haight, Gartner’s chief of research for infrastructure and operations, coined the term “Web-scale IT” earlier 2014 as a way to describe the new ways organizations leverage technology to provide their customers with content quickly and at massive scale.

For many, web-scale IT is an alien and drastic approach being met with fear and resistance. So the first question for any organization should be; what is it? Cameron Haight, Gartner’s chief of research for infrastructure and operations, coined the term “Web-scale IT” earlier 2014 as a way to describe the new ways organizations leverage technology to provide their customers with content quickly and at massive scale.

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What is Web-Scale IT ?

  1. 1. What is “Web-Scale IT”? For many, web-scale IT is an alien and drastic approach being met with fear and resistance. So the first question for any organization should be; what is it? Cameron Haight, Gartner’s chief of research for infrastructure and operations, coined the term “Web-scale IT” earlier 2014 as a way to describe the new ways organizations leverage technology to provide their customers with content quickly and at massive scale. In Haight’s report titled “The Long-Term Impact of Web-Scale IT Will Be Dramatic,” the term is defined as “a system-oriented architectural pattern that enables the rapid and scalable development and delivery of Web-based IT services leveraging agile, lean and continuous principles.” Some of the biggest players include cloud service providers like Google, Amazon and Facebook.
  2. 2. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) – which will see conventional objects become smart devices through the attachment of internet-connected sensors – the digitization of the enterprise, and mobility in the workplace, the need for web-scale IT will soon be a reality for the majority of large organizations. Gartner predicts that the availability of capacity and performance management skills for horizontally scaled architectures will be a major constraint or risk to growth for 80% of major businesses by 2016. As such, it anticipates that web-scale IT methods will be found in 50% of global enterprises by 2017. A recent Gartner survey of CEOs found that senior executives now have an appetite to invest in IT and use technology to gain a competitive edge. Speaking to Computer Weekly about these findings, Gartner fellow Mark Raskino said: "Business leaders tell us they recognize the need to invest in e-commerce, mobile, cloud, social and other major technology categories, and the capabilities they enable. That can't be done from within existing IT budgets alone. Natasha Baker in a recent Forbes blog listed three things to know about Web-scale IT:  Web-scale IT is a model: Web-scale IT is not a technology in and of itself, but rather a model that encompasses the architectures and processes being used by large cloud services providers, including the adoption of industrial data centers, Web-oriented architectures, programmable management, agile processes, collaborative styles and a learning culture.  Shift from scale-up to scale-out architectures: With Web-scale IT, firms shift away from traditional scale-up architectures and toward scale-out architectures that leverage low-cost, open-source hardware and software. This provides benefits in terms of flexibility, scalability, resiliency and a lower total cost of ownership because of less maintenance.  Focus less on rules and more on running lean: With Web-scale IT, the idea is to focus less on frameworks such as ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and more on lean and agile models. While larger companies are leading the charge on this trend, smaller companies may benefit the most from this approach. Web-scale IT brings the practices of large, web innovators into every business through the following compeoents:  Web-oriented architecture  Cloud capable including hybrid  Commodity hardware  Open source software  DevOps practices
  3. 3. Web-scale IT infrastructure  Use stateless application architectures and horizontally scaling infrastructure architectures to deliver web-scale IT capacity management.  Categories and standardize workloads to balance the capacity of the IT infrastructure across services.  Make application product teams responsible for application self-instrumentation (such as identifying scaling triggers) and analytics that empower near-real-time horizontal resource reallocation.  Use demand-shaping techniques, limited and dark launches, to limit the unexpected capacity and performance impacts of releases.  Grow skills in the use of advanced analytics tools and techniques, directed at gaining a deep understanding of application performance demands and constraints. The Future of web-scale IT There is no doubt in our mind that Web-Scale IT is here to stay. But Web-Scale IT is not without its challenges. One of these challenges is ensuring high levels of service quality and delivery. Another challenge; web-scale IT also demands new thinking about security. The web-scale efforts of criminals and hackers now costs the global economy $400 billion, McAfee predicts, at a time when security giant Symantec has admitted that anti-virus software only prevents 45% of file-based attacks at best. The advent of web-scale IT, which by its very definition is designed to deliver massively scalable real-time applications and services, puts far more emphasis on the performance capabilities of an enterprise’s existing web communications infrastructure. Companies clearly benefit from cost savings, but more significant advantages come from flexibility and reduced time to market, as well as expanded revenue-generating opportunities. Organizations that do not invest in web-scale technology will find themselves at a noticeable disadvantage over their competitors, with slower operations, more downtime and reduced ability to respond to changes in their market. ‘Web-scale IT is really a way of describing what we call “true cloud”, vendors with the scale to deliver services to everyone, everywhere,’ says James Doggart, CEO, Cloud Technology Solutions. ‘CIOs are starting to see the benefits and economies of scale of web-scale IT, and the small number of vendors which can really deliver it.’
  4. 4. References http://www.forbes.com/sites/centurylink/2014/02/25/three-things-to-know-about-web-scale-it/ http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240220575/Preparing-web-scale-IT-infrastructure http://www.boundary.com/blog/2014/05/web-scale-know-see/ http://www.information-age.com/technology/data-centre-and-it-infrastructure/123458287/cio-frankenstein-creating- monster-infrastructure-web-scale-it#sthash.eHE4f3dz.dpuf Gartner – Capacity and Performance Management Form the Basis of Web-Scale IT report

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