This slide got a substantial audience reaction when I was presenting at Interop 2017:
I’m highlighting that many data centers act more like museums than factories.
Your data center should be a factory that produces “services” in some form. Like any factory, you will have capital assets and consumables, with waste products and a certain number of failed products.
Enterprises need to move past the “data center as a museum” model, where hardware arrives, is mounted in a special display case, and then carefully administered by museum staff with white gloves and archival training that preserves the assets for decades.
A factory is about goods in, goods out. It’s messy, noisy, and ever-changing as production lines are changed and modified in a continuous improvement cycle.
The goal of any factory is to operate a production system with the following characteristics:
- Controlled costs (predictable cost is a key factor)
- Consistent quality (preferably high quality, but consistency is key)
Things about a factory that people don’t consider but should apply to a data center are that raw materials come in and finished goods and waste products come out. A data center should produce waste products, in some form, on a regular basis.
Why It Matters
Many companies pay very high prices for their IT products, and this can lead to a museum-like handling of the assets with long periods of ownership. That model was sensible in the 1990s / 2000s, but it’s long out of date now.
Have you got the right attitude about your data center? Is it a Museum or Factory?