System News
How to Plan and Complete a Consolidation Project
Without Reinventing the Wheel
June 16, 2003,
Volume 64, Issue 3

David Hornby and Ken Pepple of Sun Professional ServicesSM (SunPSSM) present the major phases of the consolidation methodology developed by SunPS as a guide for those who are starting a consolidation project. The goal was not to reinvent the wheel with each project, the authors said, but to create a simple methodology that could be re-used.

The PDF featured in Sun BluePrintsTM OnLine is the complete fourth chapter of the Sun BluePrints book, Consolidation in the Data Center, by Hornby and Pepple.

The major phases of their methodology are to assess, architect, implement and manage. There is a chart of the process with additional details for each phase. They start with a feasibility project then begin the assessment.

The authors state: "The goal of the assessment phase is to ensure that all of the assumptions made during the business justification phase are proven, and that all of the requirements and dependencies for the architecture are documented. This documentation is the deliverable for the assessment phase of a consolidation project."

They caution against performing too cursory an assessment or one that is bogged down with too many small details. They recommend assessing the requirements for the application, the platform, storage, networking, security and infrastructure. There are lists of steps for each of these requirements.

The architecture phase includes creating an initial solution, prototyping it, then revising and documenting the solution.

The authors state that careful planning and testing are crucial to the implementation phase. They divide the phase into six major tasks:

  • Create a "build specification"

  • Install and configure the hardware

  • Tune it for the needs of the platform and applications and add resource management tools

  • Train the administrators on the new equipment

  • Deploy it

  • Document the new environment

To manage the consolidated environment, the authors state: "Follow the recommendations from the infrastructure assessment performed during the assessment phase and plug any gaps that have appeared in the new environment."

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