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IT Infrastructure Design and Deployment Projects

Organizations confront a variety of issues with new IT infrastructure design and deployment projects. The IT field is very young and immature when compared to other fields, like construction, where design documentation is highly standardized and understood.  Building trades are well versed in reading standard construction plans and bringing them to reality.

Many IT infrastructure design documents are ambiguous and missing key information required to build the infrastructure leaving some aspects up to interpretation or preferences of the builder. In these cases, two competent IT specialists could build or configure components of the infrastructure in different ways that may or may not be interoperable. These project implementations often suffer with budget overruns to sort out issues and result in implementations that fail to meet the original needs adequately.

Data Perceptions can help with standardized design processes and documentation that can be understood by stakeholders to IT implementation specialists. Standardization allows cost effective project builds and results in new operational capabilities that meet the planned performance, capacity, and reliability targets. Good design processes and documentation increase IT infrastructure project success rates.

Data Perceptions has a variety of competent IT infrastructure specialists familar with good design standardsand build practices. 

IT Infrastructure Design Process

A series of design work shops with stakeholders are often used to gather requirements and work through options and preferences. The end design includes a series of diagrams and a narrative overview of system operations and key features. The diagrams typically include sets of: conceptual, logical, physical and rack location diagrams. Conceptual level diagrams show the high level complete system or scope of the system including: high level applications, user personnel in various roles, access locations, and high level security concerns. The logical network diagrams illustrate all logical or virtual components as separate devices so that data flow through the system can be shown. The narrative provides a high level overview of system operation and key features in reference to the conceptual and logical diagrams. The physical diagram shows all the physical connections as they physically exist. The combination of the logical and physical diagrams, should provide a unique configuration for the IT infrastructure. The rack location diagrams show the locations of all the physical devices within the data center or computer room racks.

Some examples for IT infrastructure design diagrams follow.

High Level Design - 3D Meeting Spaces, Imaginary Holodeck Company

Imaginary Holodeck Company is not a real organization. The concept of 3D meeting spaces has been inspired mostly by the movie industry, but also by real projects in several other sectors that apply similar technology infrastructure and software development techniques with a few new concepts that could be brought together to create this new technology for real world use.

A person's 3-D image is captured and used to build an avatar with hundreds or thousands of points on the body. The quality of the 3-D avatar and likeness of the real person is dependent on the number of data points used. An avatar is used instead of an image so that the avatar can be digitally sent into meeting spaces as an independent object or person. The digital meeting space can then contain avatars from around the world and visually interact with: each other, digital representations of real world scenery, or visit and analyze extremely enlarged molecular structures for new pharmaceutical chemical compounds, or visit the digital human body during heart surgery. The 3-D meeting space can be a 3-D TV or a 3-D CAVE.


The high level infrastructure design is represented in 4 types of diagrams: conceptual, logical, physical, and rack location.

The conceptual diagram illustrates the key concepts used. A 3-D image can be created from one vantage point using a pair of cameras similar to the way a pair of human eyes does the same thing. Three sets of cameras are used from 3 vantage points and combined together capture a complete avatar. The resolution of the avatar movement is dependent on the number of data points used to create it. A high performance computing (HPC) cluster using thousands of cores is used to track, correlate, and combine all of the data points in real time. Grid cards with over 3000 cores each are used in servers running virtual machines so that traditional HPC cluster technologies can be used allowing very low cost hardware to be used to control large amounts of computing power. The software to complete all of this is a key ingredient. Once the initial avatar has been captured, the movement of the real person can be captured and replicated in the avatar. The avatar can join other people in meeting spaces of all kinds.

Meeting spaces are set up by host sites using the same software and infrastructure used for avatar capture. Meetings from host sites are sent and listed on public directory server managed by Imaginary Holodeck Company. These meetings can be open for the public to join, or securely limited to a private group.

The high level design logical network diagram for 3-D avatar capture illustrates mostly virtualized network infrastructure so that data flow can be followed through the system and allow for configuration of virtual switches, virtual servers, and physical devices from a network perspective.

The Physical network diagram illustrates other physical network connection information for the 2 servers, 2 switches, and 2 firewalls. The combination of the logical and physical network diagrams can be documented to produce a unique network configuration for the devices.

The rack location diagrams illustrate the location of equipment in the computer room or data center.

Other diagrams are used at the conceptual, logical, physical, and rack location levels to define the complete system.


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