In 1963, meteorologist Edward Lorenz created a famous concept now known as the Butterfly Effect when he asked the question: Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? Just as Lorenz's Brazilian butterfly has the potential to set off a tornado on the other side of the world, any change to IT environments can have severe unintended consequences thanks to today's interconnected and complex webs of systems, networks, applications and databases.

Data center managers are trying to meet the conflicting challenges of providing continuous availability of critical applications while reducing risks and costs. However, achieving continuous availability in complex environments is a difficult challenge. AFCOM's Data Center Institute analysis identified three main keys to cost-effective IT infrastructure management. They are: achieving service excellence and continuous availability; reducing the risk of change; and using IT infrastructure management to achieve objectives.

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