Like many great innovations throughout history, the Web caught most of the established world by surprise. Its developers almost accidentally let the genie out of the lamp, and its escape has brought untold opportunity to the world of information processing. However, like most genies, the Web also brought great hazards. In exchange for its potential, the Web has triggered a new wave of turmoil and forced evolution in the basic infrastructure that drives the modern enterprise. The transformation of the Web into an integral part of the enterprise infrastructure has resulted in changes in the characteristics of enterprise IT:

All applications are now 24x7 With the near-universal worldwide access provided by the Web, almost any Web-based application, especially a public-facing one, is by definition 24x7, even those with low duty cycles. This challenged a fundamental assumption about the existence of a maintenance window for many business applications and increased the demand for high-availability solutions, formerly the domain of a few select, large applications.

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