Note: F5 BIG-IP v10 launched earlier this month with 120+ features focused on the IT Agility and the Dynamic Data Center. This is a multi-part series on matching the needs of IT with the needs of business through IT Agility.

F5 BIG-IP v10: Optimize Your Business

IT is a necessary function of any business today, yet it’s often thought of as an independent entity within the organization. That separation is beginning to change as IT is recognized as the backbone of the enterprise and thus a cost center that impacts the business (along the lines of facility and HR costs). This has led CIOs and IT to engage in macro movements in data center design, focusing on:PilesofMoney

  • Consolidation: Paring down hardware and fixed costs by focusing on necessary services and resources.
  • Shared Services: Doing away with the single-point appliance or service and moving to a more utility-driven model.
  • Budget and Costs: Saving CapEx and OpEx costs associated with launching new technologies—getting the largest ROI from every data center decision.

These new data center initiatives all originate from a focus in the 2009 IT market that includes the rapid deployment of revenue-generating technology, making better use of information, and managing change. Through these changes, the CIO is both using technology to solve the business needs and using the business to optimize IT, creating a symbiotic relationship between two disparate organizations in the enterprise. Rather than dropping limitless money into IT to expand the infrastructure, the CIO is using IT to drive down costs throughout the business. The data center of 2009, in a term, must be adaptable to the business.

Like alleviating technology silos in the data center, this IT business movement is also bringing together groups within IT that have typically been segregated. Historically, enterprise IT has had individual departments for technologies such as servers, networking, and storage. Segmenting IT departments based on individual data center components is the antitheses to an agile and adaptable environment. For example, how can the application team begin thinking about moving their application into the cloud when the application is so tightly coupled with physical data center hardware owned by the systems team? As the CIO’s consolidation requirements trickle down to include shared services and focus on efficiency costs, these disparate IT roles and groups are beginning to overlap and work together towards a unified goal and achieving a greater ROI.

Next Up: Unified Application and Data Deliver Services