Having been involved in deployment infrastructure solutions over the past few years, I did realise that Planning is most important and is a complex and daunting task. If done poorly, the same solution can be a barrier to the growth of the organization.
Now my area of specialization has been Microsoft technologies, and I can swear by the fact that no vendor mesmerizes better than Microsoft. They know very well how to sell their products and technologies. Well, a major initiative (later copied by many vendors) was taken way back in the year 2002 when they released Microsoft Systems Architecture (MSA 1.5). It had what any architect would look for in case he/she is working on MS technologies – the plan, design, build, and operations guidance for the enterprise. Later a revision was followed by a revamped series – Windows Server System® Reference Architecture (WSSRA) released in 2005.
Now in the year 2008, they have launched the Infrastructure Planning & Design (IPD) series with initial focus on architecting individual technologies such as Windows Server virtualization, Windows Server 2008 Active DirectoryÂ®, and Windows Deployment Services (more will be added). The IPD series is a collection of documents with a sequence of core decision points to design an infrastructure for Microsoft products. Well IPD is far concise than its predecessor (WSSRA) that was around 3500 pages of guidance, though good but who really had the time to review all that.
I would suggest you to go through it if you have not been on it yet. You will love it and like I said “No one Mesmerizes better than Microsoft“