Over the last decade the art of maintaining the datacentre of a large organisation has evolved into an art form.
It's a tough field to get your head around. Just a few years ago the trend in corporate datacentres was towards banks of tiny Blade servers. However, the efficiency advantages offered by mainframes means they are as popular as ever.
Virtualisation is also playing a key role: the day of the under-utilised x86 server sitting in a corner and processing print jobs is clearly over. These days that server is likely to be running several other tasks to make maximum use of its CPU cycles.
In the storage arena, most people agree they just can't buy enough gigabytes, and increasingly terabytes, to satisfy their business needs; it's a matter of continuous purchasing just to stay ahead of the game. Storage area network technology has made that process easy by disassociating the storage from the servers that use the data.
In 2008, for many companies, it's just one big pool.
ZDNet.com.au's guide to storage and servers takes you through the current issues, debates and products surrounding this complex area.