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Modernising the data centre

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As organisations venture forth with their digital transformation initiatives, they must remember to modernise the data centre infrastructure which will underpin their business growth and innovation.

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For too long the data centre has been the Cinderella of IT. With the boardroom and business unit leaders focussed on digital transformation, the infrastructure required to deliver revolutionary change is too often an afterthought or neglected altogether.

IT organisations and infrastructure teams are today left with flat or declining budgets in the face of mounting demands from the business. Unless something changes, the dreams of digital transformation can be dashed on the rocks of legacy infrastructure, with its rigid technology siloes and painful manual processes.

Yet data centre modernisation is a key enabler of digital transformation and it can offer a spectacular return on investment. Most organisations have seen the productivity and cost benefits of server virtualisation. Many are profiting from storage virtualisation. The next challenge is virtualisation of the network and its associated security services, and then the creation of a software defined data centre (SDDC).

Decoupling processes such as routing, switching, load balancing, firewall creation and management from the physical infrastructure to an abstracted software layer, completes the trinity of functions that make up a true software defined data centre.

Analyst group Forrester describes the SDDC as follows:

“An integrated abstraction model that defines a complete data centre by means of a layer of software that presents the resources of the data centre as pools of virtual and physical resources and allows them to be composed into arbitrary user-defined services.”

Beneath the flowery language, the automation driving the SDDC offers a fundamentally new approach to the delivery of IT services, based on end-to-end automation across the data centre, as well as across private and public clouds.

For IT, automation enables the creation of standardized, repeatable processes that improve the consistency and reliability of configurations. It helps drive down operational costs by eliminating manual tasks and the consequent errors. It also drives up developer productivity by eliminating many infrastructure bottlenecks to the deployment of new business apps and services.

David Holder, Solutions Architect of Insight says, “modernising your data centre doesn’t have to be complicated and expensive. We work with VMWare, which has two basic approaches to modernising your infrastructure – either deploy an integrated infrastructure platform or embark on a programme of individual component deployments.

“An organisation’s choice has to match its circumstances and business needs – and to help tech teams make the right decision, we have demo labs that allow us to showcase their own specific demonstrations and tests.”

VMware’s Cloud Foundation offers a hybrid cloud ready unified SDDC infrastructure platform with an integrated stack of compute, storage, and networking, comprising VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN,™ and VMware NSX. The platform delivers consistency, security and agility – simplifying operations across the entire infrastructure stack.

Organisations requiring a more evolutionary can deploy VMware vSphere as a foundation, and then start VMware vSAN and move on to VMware NSX, which adds network elasticity and micro-segmentation to enhance security.

Moving to a software designed data centre with a market leader like VMWare allows organisations to manage performance, availability, capacity and the costs of IT services. It also allows them to maintain their preferred server platforms without challenges of implementing a new hardware solution. In this way, it helps create an infrastructure that can truly meet the demands of organisations as they grapple with the challenges of digital transformation.

For more information visit Insight

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