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Eco-friendly evergreen IT services in the Clouds

While it feels like we have barely had a Summer, I hate to point out that Autumn is just around the corner. And with Autumn comes that always breath taking shift in the colour of leaves; from greens to yellow to oranges and reds…then one big autumnal wind and they’re gone leaving a carpet of brown leaves on the floor and a not very shy naked tree pointing at the sky with all its hands.

But as you glance around a forest of trees, even in December and into the Winter months, you will still see green. The green of the coniferous trees stands out. Often referred to as evergreen because, unlike their deciduous counterparts, they maintain a green plumage of “leaves” (needles) all year around.

The metaphor here is that ideally all IT systems should be kept in an “evergreen” state whereby the software stacks that comprise a business application are patched and upgraded continuously; just as the brown needles on an evergreen tree are replaced continuously. Each patch or upgrade can be viewed as a green needle replacing a brown needle that has fallen from the tree; the brown needle representing a bug or security flaw or an enhancement to software functionality.

But the reality in most organisations, though not through want of trying, is that business applications tend to be treated like deciduous trees. Even though there are plenty of patches and updates available, they are not applied until the application enters an “Autumn” phase in its lifecycle. These Autumn phases might be years in coming (think Game of Thrones where the seasons last for years) making the incurred change debt so big that a large costly project is almost always needed to inject some “Spring-like” life back into the application. Do you like what I did there? Ummm, this metaphor is running thin right?

How do I achieve evergreen IT systems?

dsp’s Continuous Maintenance services are a suite of technologies and processes that are designed to keep your business applications and their underpinning technology stacks “evergreen”…continuously up-to-date. The overall service comprises of three main capabilities:

  • Patch Automation; an ability to determine current software versions and patch levels and report on deltas to currently available patches.
  • Change Automation; an ability to apply changes repetitively and on an as needed basis, be they patches or upgrades, to machine environments.
  • Test Automation; an ability to test the impact of a change, again repetitively and on an as needed basis, on a business application fundamentally de-risking the application of a change to Production environments when ready.

These three capabilities are used in different ways and to different degrees within each of our clients. And all of them are woven together with a workflow process that controls the end-to-end flow of each change.

So what about the Eco-friendly trees and the Clouds?

You know how as you climb in altitude, say like somewhere in the Alps, the tree line tends to have a greater density of evergreens? Often at these altitudes, clouds tend to form along the tree lines depending on atmospheric pressure and what is known as “temperature inversion”. So…this is nothing to do with that, but I want to keep the metaphor running.

In IT terms, dsp can deploy its Continuous Maintenance services across all types of Cloud service. From on-premise through to the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud. In fact, we pride ourselves on being able to configure our solutions across hybrid Clouds embracing the price competitiveness and the technical advantages/advancements that each cloud provider presents as well as your on-premise infrastructure. A great example of this might be to provide Disaster Recovery across different cloud providers to manage both server affinity and data security.

Finally, to ensure those Alpine trees keep growing, let’s always look to make sure we’re building our IT solutions in a sustainable and eco-friendly fashion. I can’t comment on your carbon footprint but Microsoft and Amazon pride themselves on their environmental credentials when it comes to their Cloud based offerings…

https://www.microsoft.com/about/csr/environment/solutions/cloud/
https://www.microsoft.com/about/csr/environment/carbon/
https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/sustainability/

So have a thought for those Alpine coniferous trees and their deciduous counterparts when you’re considering the evergreen nature of your IT systems. If you’d like to talk about your evergreen requirements and how the Cloud might help you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

P.S. Microsoft announced the launch of their mainland UK data centers this week. Check out our take on this here…

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