System News
N1: Introducing Just-in-time Computing
An Executive Brief
October 7, 2002,
Volume 56, Issue 2

The executive brief on N1 covers how Sun N1 can help IT managers keep their companies competitive. "Just in Time" computing is based on the Just in Time manufacturing model that lets vendors know exactly how much product is needed for the next manufacturing run. This reduces excess inventory. In the same way, N1 will enable modern enterprises to exploit Just in Time computing -- all with the attendant simplicity and economies it suggests.

The N1 systems architecture promises to redefine the way we think about managing and deploying complex computing resources. IT managers seek responsiveness and efficiency from their information systems. Increasingly managers are concluding that the established ways of managing and deploying computing services are outdated. Responding to changing customer needs and markets means creating an IT infrastructure capable of turning on a dime. Today, instituting change is often sluggish and inefficient.

Taking a step back from the problems can result in seeing a way for better models that IT could successfully emulate. When asked, many managers say they would like the ability to access computing power just like they do telephones, electricity or any other utility. Only pay for what you use and nothing more. This utility model of computing represents an ideal that promises to solve many of the most pressing problems with IT.

The utility computing model has advantages such as:

  • Reduced complexity in creating infrastructure and business processes requiring IT services
  • Shortened provisioning times
  • Lower up-front costs
  • Improved utilization of resources

N1 will help reduce the management complexity in the datacenter caused by the explosion of new applications and server sprawl.

By unifying all of the resources in a compute fabric, N1 will help enterprises to create massively scalable computing systems that also offer continuous availability. Key to this is enabling datacenter personnel to manage services at a higher level than is possible today to create systems that offer a tighter, more direct alignment between servicing business needs and managing IT infrastructure and services. N1 does this by creating a virtual system out of the underlying compute, network and storage resources. In doing so, N1 will reduce the system configuration and management burden on IT staff, help shrink costs and increase the agility of enterprises that adopt it.

N1 can free IT staff from managing individual components. It can improve flexibility and permit the rapid reconfiguration of IT services in response to changes in demand and transparent integration of outside resources when required or desired.

For more details on how N1 can create a new business model, see:

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