In my last blog post, I explained how automating the FlexPod validation process saves time and ensures a smooth configuration. What I’d like to share with you today is another method our customers have discovered to help validate their converged infrastructure designs using SDI Install.
SDI Install’s job engine provides a new level of insight into how design concepts are being used in the field. The SDI Install job engine provides a workflow-like output log that includes each step that was taken in the system to execute the project. Architects can use job logs that SDI Install creates to validate that their blueprints were implemented as prescribed. This step helps architects validate that their designs can be implemented smoothly and meet business requirements. By referencing the job log that SDI Install automatically populates, architects have a way to see whether the system was built as it was designed, or if any of the design specifics outlined in the blueprint were unrealistic.
Just like architects building housing blueprints, there are variables that cannot be planned for — a large tree’s root system that prevents running plumbing a certain way, or a permit requirement that slows the construction timeline. With traditional architecture, the architect can simply visit the site or look at photos to see if the house turned out the way he envisioned. But with infrastructure configuration, the architect typically doesn’t have a way to find out whether something was implemented the way he intended. If the implementation engineer is using SDI Install, the architect can simply check the job log once installation is complete. If unexpected issues arose, or if a certain design element turned out to be unrealistic, the architect can see that and learn from it, and then modify designs to prevent those issues from arising in the future.
Because SDI Install is an automated engine, there is little opportunity for design specifics to get lost in translation. That’s because when an architect builds a blueprint in SDI Install, the software codifies the design and directly applies it to the installation project. In fact, there is no translating required at all – what the architect designs is exactly what gets codified and configured, saving many headaches for both the architect and the implementation engineer. That’s what we mean when we say SDI Install streamlines and standardizes the design and configuration processes.
The job log provides tremendous benefits to the end user as well. Implementation engineers typically don’t give a customer a list of the tasks they completed at the end of an installation project — recording each action would take too much time. But the absence of a record can become a pain point for the customer. Let me tell you a story to help illustrate my point.
As an enterprise IT professional who managed infrastructure installations, I never knew what the VAR was doing, exactly. All I had was the initial statement of work and the completed project. It would have been so much easier to understand how the system was built, and to request specific configuration changes, if I had a detailed bulleted job log to reference.
The job log becomes a helpful reference for the customer when requesting configuration changes or ordering additional systems. The customer can convert job logs to reference documents that show how each infrastructure system was built.
With SDI Install, the job log is designed to be both handed up the chain to the architect and left behind at the customer, educating everyone who is involved in the design, configuration and ongoing use of the infrastructure.