Gartner Research

The Enterprise Operations Center: A New IT Paradigm

Published: 06 November 1998

ID: G0074129

Analyst(s): Bruce Guptill, Tom Berg, Ken Bergstrom, Bill Redman


Until the 1990s, the world of data-center technology has been driven primarily by hardware vendors. The purchase of the machine was the first order of business; the software to run the machine was installed; and, people were trained to operate it. This paradigm influenced the way IT budgets were established, data centers were built, applications developed, IS organizations staffed and how services eventually were charged back to the lines of business. During the past three to five years, GartnerMeasurement has seen substantial movement toward converging technologies, especially in the mainframe vs. midrange arenas. The advent of less-expensive, more-powerful, yet smaller mainframes with CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) chips and the promised scalability of Unix have been driving the forces behind this movement. Other drivers have been corporate pressures for staffing reductions and the obvious economies of scale possible by centralizing operations for the management of diverse technology platforms. The traditional mainframe data center was a haven of security for operations managers. Tried-and-true methods of managing diverse application environments in a homogeneous architecture, coupled with other key management functions (e.g., storage management, capacity planning and performance levels), gave those managers confidence to be able to report performance proficiency. Another part of the traditional data center managed the centralized midrange servers. At the same time, business units began to see the productivity enhancements and cost-savings potential by moving applications away from the mainframe. Those platforms began as file-and-print servers, workgroup applications platforms and delivery engines for electronic mail. They now are relied on to deliver more-critical business functions. As the number of those distributed platforms grew, business units began pushing them back to the data center to be managed; and the role of the traditional data...

Table Of Contents
  • Management Summary
  • The Evolving EOC
    • The EOC: A Cross-Platform Measurement Model
    • The EOC Is Running Out of Space
    • Unix/NT Server Environment Commentary
  • The Unit-Cost Dimension
    • The Business Requirement Unit as a Measure of Effectiveness
  • The EOC Model: The Performance Dimension
  • The EOC Model: Analysis, Findings and Recommendations
    • Features Lacking in NT and Unix Environments
    • Strategies for Improving EOC Performance
    • EOC: The GartnerMeasurement Platform Quadrant View
  • EOC Business System Scorecards by Platform Type
  • Additional Issues Demanding Successful Data Center Leadership
    • Business Resumption Planning
    • Strategic Planning of Technology Upgrades
    • Year 2000 Processing and Storage Requirements
    • Metrics for Monitoring and Preventing Disk Storage Crises
    • Why Measure and Monitor Disk Utilization?
  • Conclusion
  • EOC Business System Scorecards by Platform Type
  • Acronym Key

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