Consolidated versus Distributed

I just got back from Australia visiting several large EMC customers (saw Meg Ryan randomly when we were there). Even down under, the whole Exchange 2007 sponsored “SAN versus DAS” debate is still alive and kicking…

Logically speaking, isn’t it easier just to share and consolidate stuff?

Examples of “stuff”:

  1. Airplane video monitors. More monitors, more problems.  Central systems are more efficient.  First class passengers, sure they get all the video/movies/games they want.  But they pay heavily for the convenience and additional control and of course for the additional maintenance.
  2. Bank accounts. Isn’t it easier to do your banking from one place instead of having different accounts for your stocks, mutual funds, savings, checking, money market, and mortgage loans?  I’ve finally got my finances down to two places…
  3. Boats.  Those who know say it’s much cheaper to chip in or rent than to own your own boat.  Renting also lets you try out different “tiers” of boat – power, sail, speed, cruisers, etc.
  4. Libraries. “Networked libraries” where you reserve a book and have it sent to you are substantially better than searching or driving to each library one by one to find the book you want.  I’m a beneficiary of a networked library (part of the minuteman library network). It’s awesome.
  5. Debt and student loans.  You can group your liabilities and get a reduced rate from the hopefully not-in-default financing organization that wants the interest $ from you, or you the old way, you deal with each bill one by one.
  6. Companies/Government Agencies.  Organizations (including companies/community groups/towns) are frequently consolidating to be able to provide shared services for one another.  Hamilton and Wenham Massachusetts are actually discussing a merger to be able to lower costs by utilizing shared resources such as schools, rec centers, libraries, and potentially fire and police stations. They are already at a stage called regionalization (which is the direction towards consolidation).
  7. There’s probably more, but I am out of ideas at the moment.

Here’s another statement from the Town of West Boylston (again Massachusetts)

Regionalization allows communities to share administrative and program costs between two or more communities in order to increase or maintain the level of services within the participating communities.  I often wondered why every community needed its own police department, its own fire department and its own library.  I find it hard to believe that this system will exist 15-20 years from now as municipalities struggle every year to provide even basic services to its residents.  One of the areas where Massachusetts has some success with regionalization is with regional school districts.  Regional school districts allow communities to share costs and to provide services they could not provide if they were acting on their own.

More reading if this is not putting you to sleep:

Centralized vs Dencentralized IS Organizations in Companies

Higher TCO when Decentralized

Records Management Tip – Centralized is Better


One thought on “Consolidated versus Distributed

  1. Pingback: EMC Symmetrix VMAX and Mixed Microsoft Workloads « Brian's Power Windows Blog

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