What Does It Take to be an Infrastructure Master?
Managing a complex enterprise IT infrastructure is becoming increasingly challenging. Time and again we see how even top notch organizations suffer unplanned outages with costly consequences.
To figure out what it takes to keep the infrastructure up and running and avoid service disruptions, we turned to Greg Marchand, the winner of our InfrastructureMania contest.
Here are some of the insights Greg was kind enough to share with us.
Q: How hard was it for you to find the risks in the diagram?
Greg: It took me about two hours to go through and find the risks in the diagram and document them.
Q: What in your training/experience has prepared you for the challenge?
Greg: Personally, I have been working in the industry for over 20 years, which has given me a solid foundation of knowledge. I work, or have worked with most of the technologies presented in the diagram.
Q: Are these the types of risks you look for in your infrastructure?
Greg: Yes. Many of the risks listed are foundational to the operation of an environment. Redundancy and replication schemes are vital to keeping a stable, reliable, and resilient operation. If you build the foundation of your building on sand, it is bound to sink at some point…
Q: How much effort does it take?
Greg: Removing risk from your infrastructure is easy when things are new or small. Over time, as your environment grows it takes more effort; whether it is creating policies, procedures, and automation to keep things in line, or having to commit hours of manual time to periodically audit your environment. That sort of thing works when you have the manpower, but with IS shops having to run leaner it becomes more difficult to do.
Q: Obviously, you have an eye for these risks, but how confident are you that all the risks in your environment can be found before they impact the business?
Greg: If you have solid governance of your environment and good monitoring in place, you can find them.
Q: Do you currently have any tools that assist you in identifying these risks?
Greg: My company has monitoring tools at multiple levels of our infrastructure to ensure that we hear about potential problems before our customers do.
Q: What advice do you have for companies that are looking to eliminate such risks?
Greg: Invest in your people to ensure that they have the foundational knowledge to do the job, and make sure that you have a trusted outside partner to lean on who can help fill in your knowledge gaps and supply extra hands, when needed.