Infrastructure cost control is vital in creating an IT landscape that can deliver the value your customers need
The main cost drivers in IT infrastructure are hardware, software licensing and staff. All three are designed into the game scenario to develop a holistic perspective of cost optimisation.
The game scenario
You are managing a server room and its contents at a time of expansion and modernisation in your company where newly designed systems need to be transitioned into production. You need to efficiently manage your capacity and costs to stay ahead of the curve. As well as your server room you have an option to transition the services by utilising the public cloud.
You have a small project team to help you and have access to additional resources if you can afford to free them up from their current duties.
Running a game session
DEPLOY! is an intermediate level board game for up to 12 players. It is recommended to allow 2-3 hours for the game itself and a further hour for initial setup and post-game reflections and discussions.
Manage your server room by adding and removing servers in your three capacity pools.
Transition the designed systems by deploying into the server room or the cloud.
Develop your team
Develop your team's skills and the technology they use, to make them more effective.
Manage your licenses
Each capacity pool is licensed in a different way. You need to minimise the license costs by carefully distributing your workloads.
Optimise your cash flow
Minimise your operational costs through life-cycle management and careful workload balancing.
Multiple play modes
There are 4 standard game modes to give varying degrees of challenge when playing the game.
Cost control through effective infrastructure capacity planning
Optimise your costs as you grow your IT infrastructure to deliver business value
Explore the challenging world of IT capacity planning, cost optimisation and license management through the business strategy game of DEPLOY!
Whether your goal is general training, sales activities or simply providing an amazing group activity, this simulation game delivers the perfect immersive experience online or in person.
Each game will typically last around 3 hours and support groups of 3 to 12 participants. When playing the game repeatedly, each time you return you will be better able to keep all the plates spinning and focus more on developing winning strategy and tactics.
Sustainable business value
In the game, you need to deploy systems to meet your company's expansion and modernisation drive and to generate much needed business value without risking your budget.
Understanding your cost drivers and how to control them is crucial: hardware, software licenses, cloud subscriptions, and staffing. Not easy at first but once understood, your cost awareness becomes fundamental to your thinking and planning.
Develop your team for effective efficiency
To become more effective you will need to utilise staff from other areas, train them up and add new technologies. To win, you need to create the most business value for the company.
Keeping your hardware up to date
It is a balancing act between using the latest, most up to date hardware in your server room and the disruption caused by life cycling. This is yet another thread of understanding that will gradually become part and parcel of your thinking process.
This IT capacity planning game introduces a number of ITIL practices including a heavy focus on deployment management, infrastructure and platform management, capacity and performance management, and ITAM.
From the service value chain, there is a strong focus on the Obtain/build and Design and transition activities.
DEPLOY! is available both as a physical and online game.
Key game elements of DEPLOY!
Plan and implement your capacity needs
Your server room has three technical platforms, each of which can support two of the three types of workload needed to run the projects.
Also each platform operates slightly differently insofar as its costs from support and licensing and also how workloads can be moved around within the platform.
You decide on what tactics you will adopt to build up and manage the capacity in the various platforms. You can of course use the capacity in the public cloud but this also has a cost. though without the need to manage it.
As the game progresses, the technology improves and you get more capacity for your money, but you also need to remove the older less effective capacity from earlier in the game.
The three technical platforms available to you in your server room
Develop the skills within your team
Your team is competent enough but it can't harm to give them some additional skills to help them in their job.
You can choose to train them up as planners, technical writer, designer or software asset management. Each skill brings with it changes in cost, performance or capability that can give you the edge over the other players.
Example of one of the skill tiles used in the DEPLOY! game. This one reduces the amount of work needed to deploy a project through the use of careful planning
Add technologies to automate and improve your capabilities
As well as training your staff, you also have the option of adding new technologies for your staff to use, delivering more for less effort. Technological solutions do however have an operational cost to take into account
You can choose to add automation when deploying each of the different workload types or you can add an asset control solution that will make your licensing more optimised.
Example of one of the technology tiles used in the DEPLOY! game. This one allows you to reduce the effort needed to deploy purple workloads.
Gain value and income when you Deploy projects
Each of the projects in the game, represent a simplified solution with cubes for the workloads needed to run the solution. In this simplified view, a workload can be interpreted as a single server of a standard configuration (CPU, memory).
All projects can be deployed into your server-room and most can be deployed into the public cloud. It is your choice as to where to deploy.
If deploying into your server-room you must have enough existing capacity available for the associated workloads.
Example of a system tile from DEPLOY! Each tile represents an IT system (Warehousing in this case) and the capacity needed to operate it in terms of workloads
Carefully manage your license footprint
DEPLOY! incorporates the three main licensing approaches; licensing the individual machine, licensing the host on which a virtual machine is placed or licensing all the hosts in a cluster. As mentioned above, in DEPLOY!, each workload is equivalent to a virtual machine or server.
Because of the different license models, the operational cost of your licenses can vary dramatically and it is your challenge to keep this cost as low as possible by carefully distributing your workloads across your technical platform pools.
Optimise your costs through life-cycling and workload balancing
As mentioned in the first point of this section, the technology that you can use to add capacity to your server rooms improves over the course of the game.
From time to time, you need to replace old technology with new, bigger, more cost effective options. To do this you must first create capacity to free up the old technology and then remove the old capacity.
Depending on the platform, you may need to move your workloads around before you do this. Careful planning is needed to ensure that you can complete all your planned work before you need to pay the license fees, otherwise you will need to license something that you are not using.