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Four Frameworks of Infrastructure Design

posted Mar 26, 2009, 7:09 AM by Jason Wik   [ updated Feb 25, 2010, 4:57 PM ]
In a recent seminar session held with a group of our clients, we outlined our current mindset of the "Four Frameworks of Infrastructure Design". According to security technologist and author, Bruce Schneier, "Security is not a product, but a process." The same holds true for all the other elements that hold organizations together. Our in-house team, vendors and partners must be constantly improving processes in these times.

As an exercise to make sure this is mindset is followed daily by our team and well understood by our clients, we thought it best to post and update our methodology as it evolves right here on our website.

The top priority in designing a successful infrastructure is to keep the team engaged. The four frameworks of doing this for our engineers and clients are:

1. Training
We are life-long learners. The pace of learning and studying doesn't slow after leaving school. Training for our engineers needs to focus beyond just the technical and extend to soft skills like communication, project management, and focus/time management. The tools and skills we use today are quickly replaced and upgraded. Our ability to adapt to change is critical.

2. Documentation
Our clients rely on critical systems to be up and running regardless of their primary engineer's availability. Documentation allows for proper cross-training and backup support. Clients can rest easy knowing there is no vendor lock-in, allowing them freedom to pick the best long-term solution.

3. Expectations
The definition of a test case as well as the use of issue tracking systems and logs allow reasonable, measured expectations on workload and time scales. Clear expectations on both sides keep engineers engaged and ensure efficiency.

4. Collaboration
We are in an era where collaboration is THE name of the game. Well-trained people who create good documentation allow us to collaborate efficiently with the most talented engineers worldwide.
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