In this economic climate, the number one priority for every business using technology is the reduction of operating costs followed by improving and streamlining business and IT processes.
One surefire way to improve your IT processes and ensure the success of a tech initiative is to work with a software vendor that is deploying its application
on an appliance
. In order to benefit from this deployment method, make sure your ISV follows a best practices regiment.
- OS Hardening and Packaging – Appliances shipped on open servers allow access to the application and increase the possibility of modifications that may cause the appliance to fail. An appliance that is locked down is the best way to guard against appliance failure. OS hardening can be done for both Linux and Windows environments.
- Automated Element Management – Routine auditing of the operational condition of core appliance elements, including CPUs, power supplies and disk drives can help ensure proper performance. Look for an appliance deployment that can “phone home” and automatically generate a maintenance request in the event of hardware or software malfunctions, crashes, runtime errors and system boot failure.
- Automated Image Backup – An appliance should be able to manage its software application as a holistic image and not just a collection of software parts. By doing so, should the appliance fail, it can be rolled back to a complete pre-failure image and quickly restored for proper operation.
- Automated Updating – Appliances that successfully automate the process and management of delivering updates, patches and other upgrades to boxes deployed in the field, including the operating system and all related applications, are critical to successful software deployments. Combined with automated element management and automated image backup, automated updating can help ensure appliances are always running at peak performance.
- Global Supply Chain – Ensure that your vendor can provide on-site support services and replace your hardware if problems arise. Look for a vendor with an efficient global supply chain, tech support services and the ability to deliver replacement products in a timely and efficient manner.
The decision to work with a software vendor that delivers its software as an appliance can result in substantial benefits, especially considering that purpose-built appliances require little customization or performance tuning, thus they deliver value almost immediately. Critical to your successful deployment is a software vendor who follows these best practices requirements.
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi