When we published the first application delivery handbook in 2007 one of the primary goals of the document was to help IT organizations understand that successful application delivery involves more than just making sure that protocols such as TCP and CIFS run well over the WAN.
As we begin to publish the 2011 edition of the handbook it is interesting to look at the challenges and solutions currently facing IT organizations. Are they largely the same as they were five years ago or have they changed?
One challenge that has faced IT organizations for as long as we can remember is that IT organizations, particularly large IT organizations, tend to do planning and run operations as totally separate functions. To help IT organizations overcome the limitations of a siloed approach to application delivery, the various editions of the handbook have presented a broad view of application delivery. The unfortunate result of presenting a broad view of application delivery is that the handbook has become quite lengthy.
To make it more readable, this year it will be published both in its entirety and in a serial fashion. The first of the serial publications can be found here. In early 2011 two surveys were given to the subscribers of Webtorials and the survey respondents were asked about their company's plans relative to application delivery. We incorporated the survey results into the handbook so that we could put the application delivery challenges that are so often discussed in the trade press into a context.
Are they top-of-mind challenges for the majority of IT organizations? Or, alternatively, are they merely a media event?
Survey results such as these are always helpful because they enable IT organizations to see how their plans fit with broad industry trends. Such survey results are particularly beneficial in the current environment when so much change is occurring.
The survey results were very insightful. For example, some of the management challenges that are most important today, such as getting better at rapid troubleshooting, have been top of mind for IT organizations for as long as we can remember.
However, another one of today’s most important management challenges is managing SLAs for a handful of key business applications. Although that has been discussed for years in the trade press, it only recently has become of great importance to the majority of IT organizations.
In the next newsletter we will discuss some of the other interesting results of the two surveys. In the mean time we encourage you to download the first of the serial publications. As mentioned, it can be found here.