Workload is, well, a loaded word. It’s frequently and widely used by IT professionals, but it can mean different things to different people, especially in a world increasingly powered by a variety of cloud computing technologies. One thing’s for sure, all workloads and no play can be a daunting way of life.
“The word workload presses into my chest and fills me with dread,” said Steve McDowell, senior tech analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “Load takes up as much space as work, and gets the final say. Load implies a burden. Effort. Something to avoid.”
In computer science terms, a workload refers to a computer system’s ability to handle and process work. Viewing, editing or sharing a photo from a laptop requires the computer to process software instructions. Every time someone makes a search on Google, a workload is processed by data centers that find and present results.
Simply put, a workload is about “putting elements together to get data, finding out what something means or developing something,” said Judith Hurwitz, president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates and author of Cloud Computing for Dummies. “It’s fundamental to computing.”
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As more aspects in business and life become digitized, the number of computing workloads is skyrocketing. To handle the rising demand, McDowell said new innovations help “offload” work.
“As technologists, we can break workloads down into the processing piece, the storage piece, and the networking piece,” said McDowell. “It requires balancing those three things.”
For businesses and organizations relying more on data technologies, he said it’s critical to have IT infrastructure or leverage services that manage each of these pieces effectively and efficiently.