Reinventing Data Center Management
The recession of 2008-09 brought a new enterprise outlook towards IT. During this period, IT teams in most organizations the world over faced challenges such as lack of budgets, people, growing demands from IT, and dynamically changing market sentiments. This drove greater demand for automation, finding additional revenue sources and agility, improved organizational productivity and efficiencies, and dynamic scaling of resources as per requirements.
However, since 2014, growth strategies have focused on emerging opportunities driven by disruptive technology trends such as social media, mobile devices, analytics and big data. This is pushing enterprises to transform their Data Centers (DC) to better handle the demands of disruptive information technology. The key drivers behind data center transformation are disruptive technologies such as growing and increasing complexity of mobile and remote workforce demands, SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud), evolution of the Internet of Things (IOT), and the need for business agility, flexibility, and increased security. But so are priorities such as regulatory compliance and reducing cost for data center operation and management.
Organizations have started adopting disruptive technologies and strategies to meet business demands and dynamically transform to align with market needs. Cloud computing is one such technology that has gained momentum in the last five years. Adoption of the cloud has not only provided agility and speed of deployment, it has also helped reduce overall costs. The cloud provides the flexibility to scale up and down easily, and provides faster provisioning and re-provisioning of resources on the Opex model vs. Capex investment.
Cloud data center traffic is predicted to increase faster than traditional data center traffic. Organizations use public clouds for elasticity and massive scale, and private cloud deployments for increased control, security, compliance and performance. However, most early and advanced adopters of cloud use a hybrid mode of deployment.
Hybrid clouds break data center siloes by standardizing workload requirements to enable easy movement between various environments. It is also predicted that there will be a greater desire among enterprises to adopt hybrid cloud solutions as organizations begin to find balance in their computing environments. Hybrid clouds allow companies to utilize private cloud for mission critical information and public cloud for non-critical information. This saves money and makes data storage easier to manage.
The end goal of many enterprises is choosing technologies that efficiently enable hybrid clouds. Technologies that provide push-button self-service access to standard stacks and common applications across multiple clouds combined with enterprise-grade controls are widely used. IT teams evaluating where to deploy existing workloads in hybrid environments can choose from the following options:
- Multi-cloud Management: Enterprises have existing workloads in VMware vSphere, AWS, Azure, and other clouds that they want to manage natively. Single pane of glass is used to manage workloads and provide self-service access with requisite controls.
- One-way Migration: Enterprises want migration of workloads from VMware vSphere to AWS, Azure or vice versa because they do not want to manage data centers and get onto AWS or another public cloud. In some cases, they want to move “shadow IT” apps from a public cloud to private clouds.
- Ongoing Portability: Enterprises need the flexibility to move workloads among various resource pools any time. Many want to leverage specific resource pools at different points in an application lifecycle (such as public cloud for development/test vs. private cloud for production) while others need specific clouds to support specific geographies. Some want to preserve their choice and choose to move to other clouds or hypervisors as the market evolves or cost models change.
As a result of this transformation and increase in complexities, there is a sea-change in the way data center operations and management services are demanded and delivered. The traditional DC colocation / hosting providers now have IaaS, PaaS and cloud options in their service portfolio and catalogue of services leaving the soft layer — the operating system — to be managed by ITES providers like NIIT Technologies.