Do CIOs and IT managers dream of the opportunity to build a data center infrastructure from the ground up, with no regard for legacy requirements of existing equipment and software? Or is the bigger challenge in finding ways to improve existing infrastructures with incremental changes and additions?

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

February 22, 2006

1 Min Read

Do CIOs and IT managers dream of the opportunity to build a data center infrastructure from the ground up, with no regard for legacy requirements of existing equipment and software? Or is the bigger challenge in finding ways to improve existing infrastructures with incremental changes and additions?In an online story published Wednesday, InformationWeek describes how Keith Fletcher was hired last October by "affluent lifestyle" magazine publisher CurtCo Media to complete a "forklift" upgrade of its IT infrastructure that includes new servers, network switches, storage, PCs, and applications software.

As a self-described "IT turnaround agent," Fletcher has been brought into several businesses to transform outmoded and ill-performing infrastructures, often by making complete and intensive changes to existing platforms.

In a matter of months, Fletcher says he has been able to dramatically improve the publishing company's IT performance, including a tenfold increase in overall system throughput.

What are the variables that IT professionals should consider when deciding what level of upgrades are necessary to transform businesses? InformationWeek would like to hear if IT professionals have philosophies and strategies they use when making these decisions.

Would IT professionals prefer to use commodity equipment and Linux operating systems, or build a new platform around Windows? Where should the job start? Should a complete upgrade be centered around servers, networking equipment, storage, or software?

Does the IT "Field of Dreams" begin with a greenfield deployment that provides the greatest opportunity to demonstrate innovation, and would key decision makers in most companies be receptive to such major upgrades if the result were significantly improved performance?

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