Nuvalo begins all RFP engagements by diving into and firming up project requirements and specifications from not only the obvious technical angle, but also business and cultural angles. It is straightforward enough to compile compute, storage, network and connectivity, but typically overlooked are business continuity, service support, service delivery, remediation, portability, compliance audits, and data destruction. Examples of cultural criteria define the type of partner and relationship enterprise IT prefers to have with the prospective service provider. Is your firm more comfortable with a hybrid carrier/colocation/cloud provider with a well-recognized brand and industry analyst recognition at the expense of a higher price tag and more bureaucracy? Or does your high-growth I&O team value agility and flexibility at the expense of brand recognition? How will your team integrate and at what tier in the architecture stack? Where is the line of demarcation between organizations? How much do you (really) need to own and control? This is where the OSI stack comes in. Wikipedia defines the OSI, or Open System Interconnection, model as a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Control is passed from one layer to the next, starting at the application layer in one station, and proceeding to the bottom layer, over the channel to the next station and back up the hierarchy. Call me crazy but this framework, introduced to me twenty years ago, has always served as a framework for architecture, and for beginning conversations with the network tiers (physical, data link, network, transport,) and working “up the stack.”

I ask if there is any reason why IT needs to own and control the data center building itself, the critical systems infrastructure, fiber entrances, trenches, and network equipment terminating the carriers, including the edge routers handling the BGP sessions. How about the security guards? They don’t? Then we’re at least sold on colocation.

(Stepping inside the data center…) Do you need to own the compute, storage and network hardware? Operating systems? Virtualization software/management? Cloud Platform?
I think you get the idea. The vast majority of organizations does not need to own and control anything commoditized, and when walked through this exercise, confirm that they will continue to support only their proprietary/custom applications and offer up the rest to the service provider via RFP. Not surprisingly this is the first question each prospective provider will ask, and any less than firm response will invite unnecessary time and resource delays. Nuvalo RFPs and requirements documents are always accompanied by a logical diagram and clear delineation of roles and responsibilities ensuring a swift and efficient selection process.