Microsoft infrastructure architecture considerations: part 1 (introduction)

Last week, I highlighted the MCS Talks: Enterprise Architecture series of webcasts that Microsoft is running to share the field experience of Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) in designing and architecting Microsoft-based infrastructure solutions – and yesterday’s post picked up on a key message about software as a service/software plus services from the infrastructure futures section of session 1: infrastructure architecture.

Over the coming days and weeks, I’ll highlight some of the key messages from the rest of the first session, looking at some of the architectural considerations around:

  • Remote offices.
  • Controlling network access.
  • Virtualisation.
  • Security.
  • High availability.
  • Data centre consolidation.

Whilst much of the information will be from the MCS Talks, I’ll also include some additional information where relevant, but, before diving into the details, it’s worth noting that products rarely solve problems. Sure enough, buying a software tool may fix one problem, but it generally adds to the complexity of the infrastructure and in that way does not get to the root issue. Infrastrcture optimisation (even a self assessment) can help to move IT conversations to a business level as well as allowing the individual tasks that are required to reach meet the overall objectives to be prioritised.

Even though the overall strategy needs to be based on business considerations, there are still architectural considerations to take into account when designing the technical solution and, even though this series of blog posts refers to Microsoft products, there is no reason (architecturally) why alternatives should not be considered.

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