Flash Research Papers
Project Summary: Each flash research assignment will require the creation of a paper. The intended audience of this paper is the CIO of a company. Assume that the CIO understands technology at a very, very high level. Assume that the primary focus of the CIO is leveraging technology to create business value for their organization, not the technology itself. Executives are very busy people; time is precious for your typical CIO. Learning how to articulate your ideas in a clear and concise manner is essential. As such, the body of each flash research paper will be no more than 1 page in length.
Flash Research Assignment #1: Data Centers and Networking
You are the CTA of a small but rapidly growing manufacturing company. Over the past year your organization has experienced 10 unscheduled outages to its ERP system. The vast majority of these outages have been caused as a result of inadequate facilities in your existing, primitive data center. When this system is down your organization cannot process orders, cannot make product, and cannot ship product! Outages cause serious operational problems and impact both the top and bottom line of the income statement.
Prepare a paper for the CIO in which you propose building a “Tier III” data center. Describe the key capabilities of a tier III data center and describe the business case for making this investment. Crude estimates indicate that building this data center will take 1 year and cost approximately $35,000,000. Assume that you are currently running a “Tier I” data center with 99.67% availability. You are proposing building a “Tier III” data center with 99.98% availability. Assume that downtime costs your organization $14,800 per minute. Assume that the organization looks at all investments in technology over a period of three years.
Flash Research Assignment #3: Virtualization and Cloud Computing
You are the CTA for a small but rapidly growing manufacturing company. You have approximately 1,000 servers in your data center. The average server costs $8,000 to purchase (including system software). You also spend approximately $2,000 per year per server for hardware maintenance, software maintenance, technical support, power and cooling.
You believe that there are considerable opportunities for savings by utilizing virtualization to consolidate server workloads. You believe that 80% of your servers could run as virtual machines under VMWare and that, on average, you could consolidate 10 physical servers onto a single virtual machine server. These would be higher end servers costing approximately $16,000 each (including system software). In addition, they will cost more to run, approximately $3,000 per year for hardware maintenance, software maintenance, technical support, power and cooling.
Prepare a paper for the CIO that describes virtualization and focuses on the benefits of server consolidation. Describe the business case for making investments in this technology. This organization always looks at investments over a 3-year period.