Managing open systems now that the glass-house has gone
Corporate mission-critical systems were once held in proprietary mainframe environments, the ‘glass-house’. A single supplier and large team of systems experts enabled users and IT departments to see the system from a distance, using parts they were granted access to. When things went wrong, everything was restored, eventually, as if by magic. Modern systems are moving to vast networks of flexible distributed databases and open-systems technology where every user has a PC or workstation. Who manages geographically dispersed systems, comprising hardware and software from multiple suppliers, half of it bought by user departments themselves? The answer must include a computerized distributed system management facility. This paper covers systems management issues that must be addressed and some key initiatives that are emerging to tackle them. It focuses on open-systems operations, performance, storage and security. Without a good understanding of these issues, open-systems solutions may cause more damage than good to companies that implement them.
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