Understanding Downsizing and Rightsizing

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Downsizing: The downward migrations of business applications are often from mainframes to PCs due to low costing of workstation. And also today’s workstations are as powerful as last decade’s mainframes. The result of that is Clients having power at the cost of less money, provides better performance and then system offers flexibility to make other purchase or to increase overall benefits.

Rightsizing: Moves the Client/Server applications to the most appropriate server platform, in that case the servers from different vendors can co-exist and the network is known as the ‘system’. Getting the data from the system no longer refers to a single mainframe. As a matter of fact, we probably don’t know where the server physically resides.

Upsizing: The bottom-up trend of networking all the standalone PCs and workstations at the department or work group level. Early LANs were implemented to share hardware (printers, scanners, etc.). But now LANs are being implemented to share data and applications in addition to hardware.

Mainframes are being replaced by lesser expensive PC’s on networks. This is called computer downsizing. Companies implementing business process reengineering are downsizing organizationally. This is called business downsizing. All this would result in hundreds of smaller systems, all communicating to each other and serving the need of local teams as well as individuals working in an organization. This is called cultural downsizing. The net result is distributed computer systems that support decentralized decision-making. This is the client/server revolution of the nineties As client/server technology evolves, the battle cry is now right sizing--design new applications for the platform they are best suited for, as opposed to using a default placement. An application should run in the environment that is most efficient for that application. The client/server model allows applications to be split into tasks and those tasks performed on individual platforms. Developers review all the tasks within an application and determine whether each task is best suited for processing on the server or on the client. In some cases, tasks that involve a great deal of number-crunching are performed on the server and only the results transmitted to the client. In other cases, the workload of the server or the trade-offs between server millions of instructions per second and client millions of instructions per second, together with the communication time and network costs, may not warrant the use of the server for data intensive, number-crunching tasks. Determining how the tasks are split can be the major factor in the success or failure of a client /server application. And if the first client/server application is a failure, for whatever reason, it may be a long time before there is a second. Some variations on this theme are:

1. Downsizing:
A host based application is downsized when it is re-engineered to run in a smaller or Local Area Network based environment. Downsizing involves porting applications from mainframe and mid-range computers to a smaller platform or a Local Area Network based client/server architecture. Downsizing is not as easy as buying and installing hardware and software that support client/server computing. This paper presents a case of rightsizing, with an outsourcing approach, of a mainframe based information system. A full downsizing process, is a highly complex process due to the following reasons: * The need to manage, at the same time, the old and the new technology and environment for the parallel periods; * The need to migrate in the new platform the millions of LOC (line of code) of the several applications. In this paper we describe how that process can be performed in an outsourcing framework. We discuss which are the critical factors that assure an efficient process and big savings from the cost/benefit and cost/performance point of view. There are...
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