Information is the cornerstone for all businesses, but data centers have become crowded and inefficient. More servers means more switches, cabinets and cables as well. IT leaders contained server sprawl and costs through virtualization and a converged infrastructure. Then, they turned to cloud computing to increase agility and do more with less. But none of this has fundamentally changed the way IT pros work — yet. The question is, how can CIOs move their data center forward, keeping up with the future; what’s the next step? Logicalis, an international IT solutions and managed services provider, has identified five strategic IT moves that will help CIOs do just that.
“We’ve all heard the claim that IT pros spend 80 percent of their time on maintenance and 20 percent on strategic IT objectives, but it’s time to start turning those numbers upside down,” says Brandon Harris, vice president, HP solutions for Logicalis. “The technology, the solutions, the capabilities exist today to take advantage of what’s already in place, make changes where they’re needed, and create an IT environment that mirrors what was once held up as a future ideal.” Harris says it’s important to note that creating the data center of tomorrow today doesn’t mean throwing out what’s already in place and starting from scratch. To find out more, Harris suggests CIOs read a Logicalis eBook, “Elements of Design: How the Data Center of Today Can Be the Data Center for Tomorrow.”
Click through for five strategic IT moves that can help CIOs push their data centers forward, as identified by Logicalis.
A converged network infrastructure is the key to creating an integrated environment, pooling resources and managing servers, storage and network technologies through a common, industry-standard platform. The key is to refresh legacy systems without starting from scratch to create the kind of next-generation enterprise network required to support tomorrow’s advanced business computing requirements today.
When it comes to data-intensive SAP, Oracle and other ERP operations, one of an IT pro’s toughest decisions is how to store that data so that it can be mined quickly without putting undue strain on the rest of the network. But how? Data storage can be centralized into a single multi-tenant, high-performance and high-availability system, allocating resources up or down to meet ERP demands based on the business’ actual — rather than perceived — needs.
Private clouds offer the elasticity to respond to changing business needs quickly, cost effectively and in a way that can simplify IT management — in short, a simpler way to deliver the consumption of IT as a service inside an organization. But before those advantages can be realized, the right framework has to be put in place — the right servers, storage, networking and software all working in tandem to be able to provide fully automated or scheduled provisioning, security assurances even in complex regulatory environments, and to use rapid self-provisioning features to provide true capacity on demand.
Bigger, better, faster seems to always be the mantra for computing. And it’s particularly true in research, finance, cloud and manufacturing environments where demands for high-performance computing (HPC) are the norm. The more computing power available in one of these hyper-scaled environments, the more competitive the organization becomes. There are solutions available today that have been designed with both compute density and graphics processing unit (GPU) floating-point calculations capabilities in mind to meet the needs of graphics-intensive and other high-performance environments that include everything from low-latency trading to engineering or cloud computing. The key is to choose the correct servers, then combine them into a single rack, sharing power supplies and fans, resulting in a high-performance, cost-effective, small footprint solution for a host of HPC needs.
With every new Intel chip comes a proliferation of next-generation servers, always faster and better performing than the one before. But no matter how exciting the new technology sounds, it still comes down to the human factor: There are still real people plugging servers into racks and connecting cables to make the power of IT a reality. IT pros today have to do more with less, making ease of maintenance top of mind, so it’s important – and now possible with new technology – to architect solutions that can eliminate the mundane maintenance tasks that have taken as much as 80 percent of IT pros’ time on a daily basis, leaving only 20 percent for innovation, and flip those numbers upside down.