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    Robert Miletich

    >>: In the end, I feel like a reference architecture is all about the people involved.

    Let me respectfully disagree. The people involved are crucial since you're depending on integrators or internal staff to assume responsibility for success but the reference architecture (a Cisco one anyway) goes a long way to assure some form of success. An additional value to reference architectures is that they bring ownership of the solution closer to the client - i.e. the client is less prone to look at the solution as someone else's child and by extension, their responsibility.

    >>: For a product, I feel like everything revolves around the technology included, and in how much effort the provider has put into integration, delivery and orchestration of the core components.

    "How much effort" can be viewed subjectively - it can be anything from not enough effort, to just right to too much effort depending on the product manager. Is it just right? It was for the product manager :-). Is it just right for the client? Maybe. Probably. And if not there'll be another product around the pike to fix today's issues.

    My view of the value of a "product" is time-to-implement, and its close cousin, time-to-monetize. That takes for granted that it actually is - like many "products" are advertised - a pull-the-string to successfully implement proposition.

    Jeramiah Dooley

    Thanks Robert. Even the best reference architecture is left in the hands of the staff and partners of a company to implement, much the same way even a good recipe still needs a good cook. In the case of a converged infrastructure it's not just following the RA that's important, it's making sure the end goal matches up with the business requirements. That's a lot to ask of people, and it's why I feel that the people end up being the critical path item.

    Leaving my choice of phrase aside, I agree with your second comment as well. The reduction of risk is assumed (although, like you point out that can be a big assumption sometimes. :-) and the goal is to minimize TTI.

    Thanks again for the comment!

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