The case study provided shows that the media company has a number of infrastructural issues that should be addressed in order to improve its efficiency. The analysis shows that the entire infrastructure at the firm is redundant, which makes it necessary to have a new system that will improve the operations’ efficiency.
The system must also be capable of protecting important data. According Marshall and Lowe (45), for a large firm that consumes massive data, it is common to have problems with the servers. In some cases, the users may put up servers that they do not necessarily need.
This is one of the issues that have been identified in this case. Broadcasting 8 TV channels globally means that this firm needs a large and very efficient data management system that will ensure that there is seamless information sharing among the relevant authorities. The following are the objectives of this research.
- To address the problem of large number of servers and storage arrays
- To make cabling less complex and easy to manage by solving the problem posed by separate FC and IP networks
- To find a solution to the issue of limited space in data center for servers
- To improve the current data migration tools which are inefficient and cause downtime
- To determine how to make infrastructure management less complex and inexpensive
Proposed Solution: Introducing VMware vSphere 6
The researcher conducted a detailed analysis of each of the issues raised, and determined that upgrading to VMware vSphere 6 will be the best solution that can be used to address the problems of this firm and improve its operational strategies. This new system will not only enhance virtual communication which is very important to a television company, but also help in improving efficiency when it comes to data management.
According to Atwell, Marshall, and Orchard (77), VMware’s vSphere is a new product that comes with an array of features that is unmatched in the server virtualization space. What makes this product unique is that the version now offers integrated functionalities that in previous versions were provided for differently.
To this firm, the new features offered by this version such as long distance vMotion will be of utmost importance based on the issues identified in the case study. At this stage, it will be necessary to look at the specific solutions that VMware’s vSphere will provide to this firm.
Solution to the issue of limited space in data center for servers
VMware’s vSphere 6 offers a powerful server virtualization that will help in eliminating the problem of limited space in the data center. According to Marshall and Lowe (72), this tool offers a unique server virtualization that is unmatched in the current market.
By using this new version, the firm will have an opportunity to virtualize its x86 server resources, making it possible to integrate them easily into logical pools. This will enable the firm to allocate multiple workloads, completely eliminating the problem of limited space in data center to add servers. Figure 1 below shows improved database capacity that is achieved if a firm embraces VMware vSphere 6.
Figure 1: VMware vSphere 6 and Oracle Database (Marshall and Lowe 89)
How to make infrastructure management less complex and inexpensive
In the current competitive business environment
Firms are keen on employing systems that are easy to manage and are cost effective. At this firm, however, it was established that the infrastructure management is complex and expensive. Operating 8 television stations under this environment may become too expensive for this firm to afford if adequate changes are not made to the current system within the shortest time possible. VMware’s vSphere 6 offers a perfect solution to this problem by facilitating platform automation.
According to Atwell, Marshall, and Orchard (119), vSphere 6 is designed to lower the operating expenses by minimizing the errors. This is achieved through a system which helps in streamlining the routine tasks. The vSphere 6 offers accurate solutions which are repeatable. The system simplifies the management of the infrastructure and lowers the cost of operations.
How to make cabling less complex and easy to manage
It is clear from the case that this firm is experiencing some difficulties in its operations due to the issue of separate FC and IP networks which make cabling complex and difficult to manage. For a media company, this is a problem that must be solved to ensure that operations are not hampered at times when clients are keen on getting its services.
VMware’s vSphere 6 has a solution to this problem. It provides network service optimization for a virtual environment. The administration and management of this version has been simplified, meaning that the firm will not have to hire highly skilled employees to manage it. In fact, the vendors will take a few hours to train the current employees on how to administer and manage this simplified version.
How to improve current data migration tools
This new tool is very efficient in data migration. The case provided shows that the available data migration tools are inefficient and cause downtime. This may reduce the ability of this firm to communicate in real time with its reporters in different parts of the world.
News anchoring that should be delivered in real time may also be at stake because of this problem. VMware vSphere 6 solves this problem through maximization of uptime across the cloud infrastructure. This reduces unplanned downtime and eliminates any planned downtime for all the servers and in storage maintenance.
How to address the problem of large number of servers and storage arrays
The firm is currently faced with the issue of a large number of servers and storage arrays that limit its efficiency in service delivery. This problem too is solved by VMware vSphere 6. This new version of VMware reduces the complexities of back-end systems of storage thus creating a platform for a very efficient storage utilization of cloud infrastructure (Atwell, Marshall, and Orchard 41).
The servers are streamlined and integrated to enhance efficiency in the delivery of service. It also helps in identifying redundancies within the system and eliminates them to optimized operations. At this moment, this is what the firm needs. Figure 2 below shows improved scale of performance of VMware vSphere 6
Source (Atwell, Marshall, and Orchard 48)
It is clear that VMware vSphere will be able to address all the issues identified in the case. Another important advantage that this product will offer is consistency in management.
According to Marshall and Lowe (89), consistency is very critical in the field of data management. It promotes accuracy in routine practices that have to be repeated quite often when handling data. This version of VMware offers a unified and easy to use operation management tool. This will further simplify data management and lower the overall cost of operations.
Hardware and Software Requirements
Installation of VMware vSphere may not have a heavy hardware requirement as long as the current computers are operating optimally. It is important to note that this product will reduce the overreliance on large computers needed for the storage of data because most of the storage will be offered in the cloud.
This means that the current hardware may be released of some of its storage tasks, making it possible to assign them new tasks to enhance the operations. However, if there is an issue with compatibility, then it may be necessary to purchase additional computers that will sustain the software.
The VMware vSphere-6 software will be purchased from the local vendors. In most of the cases, the vendors will be responsible for installing the software and testing it for functionality once the payment is made. It means that the firm will not face any major problem when installing the new system as long as there are enough funds to pay for the software and replace or upgrade some of the existing hardware.
Upgrading the current system using VMware v Sphere 6 will guarantee this firm superior service delivery. However, this may not be a permanent solution to all the future problems that this firm may face. The management of the firm should not shy away from the emerging technologies.
The mistake witnessed with the current system should not be repeated in future because it may result into embarrassment for the firm. Maintaining continuous upgrade may be necessary to ensure that the small changes needed on the system are affected as soon as possible. The following model may be very relevant in the future upgrade of the database.
Figure 1: Application Life Cycle
The first stage involves modernization development. This is the stage that will be initiated by this project. The firm will be modernizing its entire database system to accommodate the current needs. Once the modernization is complete, the firm will assign its own employees to operate the system. In the modern society, many firms now prefer managing their own data instead of assigning the management to outsourced firms.
This is specifically so among the firms handling very sensitive information that may be targeted by the unscrupulous individuals. The next stage in this lifecycle is sunset and archive. At this stage, the management will identify the components of the system which are aging and those which can still be maintained in the service.
The last stage is to re-platform and to retire the components of the system. The components which are obsolete are retired and taken out of service while those that can be remodeled are re-initiated back to the system. This should be a continuous process done regularly at this firm.
Conclusion and Further Recommendations
The management of this media firm has invested a lot in marketing and this explains why it has gained massive popularity in the market today. However, the investment made in modernizing database infrastructure is not satisfactory.
Inasmuch as the current system has not failed in its operations, the report indicates that it needs remodeling and modernization to meet the current needs. The firm needs a faster and larger system that will sustain the growing amount of data in use. To achieve the desired outcome, the management should consider observing the following recommendations:
- This firm should adopt VMware vSphere 6 as a solution to addressing the current problems it is facing in managing its data system. This new version of VMware will improve the operations’ efficiency, lower the costs, and simplify some of the tasks which are currently considered ambiguous.
- Once the new system is upgraded using VMware vSphere 6, it will be important for the firm to ensure that it embraces the emerging technologies in future as a way of further improving its efficiency.
Atwell, Josh, Nick Marshall, and Grant Orchard. Mastering Vmware Vsphere 6. Indianapolis: Sybex, 2015. Print.
Marshall, Nick, and Scott Lowe. Mastering Vmware Vsphere 5.5. Indianapolis, Indiana: Sybex, 2014. Print.