Chapter 4

Reducing Complexity through Standardization and Consolidation

In This Chapter

Identifying sources of complexity

Finding value in standardization and consolidation

Applying the 80/20 rule

Understanding opposition to standardization

Planning for data-center consolidation

George Earle Buckle, a British author and newspaper editor, once said, “To simplify complications is the first essential of success.” Although he was referring to the written word, his assertion also applies to enterprise architecture, particularly in the early stages of a consolidation project. A common rule is that “It’s cheaper to buy one hundred of one item than to buy one each of a hundred different items.” In reducing enterprise complexity, this advice applies to selection of software, hardware, and services as much as the consolidation of authentication silos and physical machine rooms.

Like entropy, complexity requires effort to control because even the simple replacement cycle of equipment will create undesirable variation in any sizable enterprise. Proper planning and change controls are the only tools capable of drawing order as the enterprise grows and evolves to meet change in business and technology. This chapter explores simplifying your enterprise through consolidation and standardization, with a focus on the enterprise’s data center.

Recognizing Complexity in the Enterprise

The complexity of the technological environment increases both costs and support requirements. A useful rule is ...

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