I have been asked the question, or a variant of this question, "What does 'Enterprise Class' mean?" and the natural follow-up, "Why do I need it?" quite a few times. Each time, I feel that I've been caught in a marketroid buffer overflow. It's a term that is often used but rarely understood or put in proper perspective, at least in my experience.
So, in the grand tradition of the Asher "How to buy a Used Car" I ask the esteemed community what the hell this term means. Preferrably in non-techno-speak, of course.
I found one reasonable definition, in techno-speak, here (http://www.windowsadvantage.com/tech_edge/04-02-01_enterprise_class.asp), in an article regarding whether Win2K was "Enterprise Class." The items that the author suggests should define the term are:
1. System scalability ; scaling up (the use of multiple central processing units (CPUs) in a single system), as well as scaling out (the use of a distributed cluster system model to deliver system performance). 2. System reliability/availability determined by hardware dependability and extensions, properly structured applications and software drivers, and use of "best practice" operating procedures. 3. System/subsystem manageability centralized administration and control over all computing environment resources 4. System security protection from both physical theft and unauthorized system access. 5. Support for directory services a consolidation point to store and manage data that is used by applications and network resources for the purpose of reducing administrative overhead and providing improved environment flexibility. 6. Interoperability collaboration among computing resources, especially within a heterogeneous environment. 7. Availability of qualified resources access to highly skilled and experienced resources to design, deploy and manage the operating environments in an enterprise-class setting.These are excellent points, and ones for which certainly the components of the OACS all qualify. However, I was wondering whether anyone has any experience describing "Enterprise Class" and its benefits to non-techies, in addition to these points.
Glib responses like, "Enterprise class means you won't have your data sucked away by the evil virus troll, at least not without a fight" don't really count, although they may very well be appreciated if they're witty enough. (gauntlet thrown at toddg's feet)
This question certainly is directed at not only helping me (and others) pitch the benefits of the OACS and its components to clients, but also to help write the literature for the OACS (which refers to enterprise-level on the homepage without mentioning what it is).