A major shift is underway in data center infrastructure procurement and design. Many public and private entities have shifted from making large hardware and software purchases in the form of components of servers, storage and applications to instead buying pre-packaged bundles, building blocks and/or PODS. This trend is part of a more modular data center design approach based on vendor tested and certified reference architectures. These modular building blocks are typically all inclusive of the hardware and software components and customizations required to run the applications, and they form the foundation of consolidated private clouds.
The reference architecture will include hardware and software components which have been selected, tested and tuned by the vendors instead of by the IT staff. This is a good thing for frazzled IT folks who have their hands full just keeping legacy applications running. Since the hard work of designing solutions and implementing and tuning components has already been done, IT teams can focus on providing better services rather than getting sucked in to more mundane tasks such as assuring a particular application server is implemented properly. Since the vendor has already tuned the solution, the IT team no longer needs to worry that the application infrastructure has the correct performance and reliability built into it.