The Goal of Emerging Data Center Technologies: Simplicity
“Complex is competent,” said Binny Gill, chief architect of Nutanix. “Simple is genius.”
Through decades of data center evolution, technology developers have sought to simplify IT operations, Gill said, speaking in Dallas at a CDW SummIT Series event, Optimizing the Next-Generation Data Center. But as new technologies emerge to deliver this simplicity, organizations often add elements that clutter the data center and increase complexity. It’s a continuous cycle of push and pull that technology giants such as Nutanix and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have worked with for years.
Gill noted that enterprise storage environments often create diverse silos, such as private clouds, disaster recovery and backup systems, virtual desktop infrastructure and Big Data applications. IT teams want to eliminate silos and simplify management.
Meet the Demand for Cloud Services
Cloud computing has been a major leap forward for reducing complexity, Gill said, adding that the cloud has reset expectations for IT departments. Organizations want instant IT services, and they want to pay only for the resources they use. However, different cloud models deliver varied benefits. In general, public cloud vendors provide high-quality services with great reliability, while private clouds enable greater sovereignty and control of enterprise data.
Nutanix is developing a new solution, called Enterprise Cloud, to close the gap between public and private clouds. Enterprise Cloud integrates data center resources — servers, storage and networking — in a hyperconverged platform. Gill said the solution is intended to deliver the best of both clouds by delivering “cloud autonomy”: the ability to move easily between clouds. This will enable one-click management of where workloads go in a hybrid cloud environment.
The Power of Fluid IT Resources
HPE also is also rolling out a new offering to address data center complexity. Scott Wood, the company’s vice president of solutions and technology for North America, said organizations aren’t migrating workloads to cloud providers because they have some innate fondness for the cloud; they’re doing so because they want the agility and other benefits that cloud delivers. HPE has sought to provide these benefits — enabling data center simplicity — in what it calls composable infrastructure.
Wood said this approach to IT infrastructure offers several advantages:
- Speed: Enabled by elements of infrastructure that can be deployed more rapidly
- Reduced risk: For example, via greater uptime through automation
- Lower costs: Due to right-sized infrastructure that yields improved asset utilization, Wood further outlined the architectural principals of composable infrastructure, which includes fluid pools of IT resources — storage, computing and networking fabric — that can be accessed as needed. The software-driven intelligence of this infrastructure enables template-driven workload composition and frictionless operations. It also utilizes a unified application programming interface that can use a single line of code to abstract every element of infrastructure and enable full programmability of resources.
“You no longer have to purchase infrastructure to meet the demands of a specific workload,” Wood said. Instead, data center operators can compose and decompose their infrastructure to support changing workloads — merging public cloud economics with the security and control of on-premises infrastructure.
Wood explained several use cases for this approach. For example, data center operators can create physical infrastructure from a resource pool, then decommission services and return their infrastructure elements to the resource pool when they’re no longer needed, so they can be reused. They also can automate operational changes such as firmware updates via software intelligence.
To learn more about technologies that can simplify data center infrastructure, visit CDW.com/domore.