By Gary Middleton, Principal Director - GTM and Skills transformation, NTT Ltd., and Nigel Moulton, Global Chief Technology Officer, Dell Technologies
Using a software-defined private cloud can help you avoid the resource crunch
Organizations looking to retain their competitive edge in the modern, hyperconnected environment have to be agile and flexible, and able to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace. In order to make sure that business objectives are met, companies must be certain that their IT infrastructure is up to the task of supporting a continually changing set of requirements. The reality is that data center technology, architectures and operational practices that were fit for purpose in the past are no longer able to cope.
Even though it’s accepted that data and applications are at the heart of the modern business, and the infrastructure that underpins them is vital for success, no one invests in technology for technology’s sake; it has to be driven by a compelling business requirement. Today we’re encountering a situation where business requirements are accelerating ahead of what the infrastructure is capable of supporting, and there is a widening gap where additional horsepower and flexibility is needed to support the future needs of business.
This disconnect is being driven by a number of factors, but central to these is the rise of data as the most important asset of any organization. Adopting a data-first approach is vital to ensuring that organizations keep pace with customer demands, identifying market trends and adapting quickly to meet changes in the market.
Aligned to this is the continual increase in the number of applications, with many organizations using hundreds of applications, and in some cases thousands. These applications are not static either. They are being continuously updated to meet the demands of the business and customers. The old paradigm of an IT environment where data center hardware could be provisioned for an application at the beginning of its life cycle and decommissioned at the end are long gone. Applications are constantly evolving and the infrastructure that supports them needs to follow suit.
The flexibility offered by private cloud architectures provides a solution to this, but adoption has not been as rapid as might have been expected. Part of the reason for this is that cloud is an operating model, rather than a specific place, with some significant changes needed in people, skills, and business strategy in order to adjust to this new model. If implemented correctly this will dramatically change organizational agility and make it easier to pivot when identifying and realizing new revenue models and opportunities.
The software-defined solution
Over the past few years we’ve seen how software-defined infrastructure has given organizations the ability to take control over the management of their infrastructure in ways that were not possible before. The combination of software-defined hardware, storage, networking, and security are all critical parts of creating an infrastructure that supports agile and flexible IT environments.
The flexibility that this can deliver is, however, contingent on all elements of the data center infrastructure being software defined. It’s only when working in concert that they can deliver the levels of automation that provides the organization with the agility and flexibility needed in the modern organization. In order to achieve this organizations need an IT strategy that ensures that its data center is able to keep pace with times.
Taking back control with private cloud
Bringing these elements together into a software-defined private cloud answers many of the technology challenges that organizations are facing. With increased control over the environment it’s possible to guarantee availability to mission critical application while still providing the business with the flexibility they need to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving business environment.
With the ability to automate many routine tasks IT teams are able to focus on helping the business achieve their objectives.
With the private cloud environment backed up by a fully software-defined infrastructure issues around scalability of key applications can be laid to rest.
In addition, by working with a strong partner who can assist with rapid deployment, smoothly migrating workloads onto the platform, global colocation facilities with high speed connectivity to public cloud for additional deployment options, and the skills and operational services to leverage automation capabilities inherent in software-defined architecture, ensures that no matter what the demands of applications are, their data center is up to the task.