For years, information technology managers have tried, sometimes in vain, to deploy simple hardware technology to support applications -- both commercial and scientific. Some have succeeded, only to find complexity creep in over time as the user base grows, or as more network and storage hardware is required to support the mission.
Vendors have tried, sometimes in vain, to provide complex applications that can run on what was initially thought to be simple hardware configuration platforms. All too often, well meaning vendors find themselves deeply embedded in complex solutions when what they and the IT manager want are simpler, more easily managed topologies.
The figure below illustrates a dramatic rise in complexity, cost, and the desire to simplify as information processing ascends toward the upper limits of both enterprise and high-performance computing infrastructures. It is important to note that the desire to simplify is a constant and, for most organizations, endless loop.