Nov 20 2023
Data Center

How to Simplify Data Management with Converged Infrastructure

Power, flexibility and scalability: Get it all in one box.

Data isn’t slowing down. To deal with increasing data volume and velocity, businesses are busy making space to accommodate it. In many cases, this means leveraging a mix of public cloud infrastructure, off-site colocation data centers, and leased hyperscale solutions. It also includes on-premises solutions; one recent survey found that in 2022, on-premises still accounted for 40 percent of storage.

For companies, this creates complexity. More places for data means more complex data management. Troy Brick-Margelofsky, a forward-thinking solution architect team lead at CDW, acknowledges the enduring essence of these challenges: "The landscape may shift, but the core challenges persist.”

DISCOVER: Learn how to streamline your data management tools with NetApp and CDW solutions.

Why Centralized Data Management Is Popular

When you’re in the IT industry long enough, you see trends emerge that are truly a pendulum swing. As an industry, we’ve swung from centralized infrastructures (mainframes) to decentralized (distributed compute and storage), then back to a centralized focus with storage area networks and virtualization technologies. We’ve swung from private data centers, to colocated, outsourced data centers, to public cloud providers and now, we are seeking a balance that locates data in the right spot for the business. This might be on-premises, in an offsite data center, in a public cloud or a combination of all three.

Here's how centralized data management powered by hyperconverged infrastructure might benefit your organization:

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Storage and Security: NetApp FlexPod converged infrastructure can simplify the storage equation with a consistent platform for storage management, no matter where the data resides. The FlexPod solution is a secure, smart, sustainable, hybrid-ready platform engineered to transform infrastructure and operations. FlexPod unites innovative compute, storage, networking and management to accelerate the delivery of modern workloads, future-proof environments and optimize resources to maximize efficiency.

FlexPod has helped companies achieve millions in cost savings, offering a 20 percent time savings in infrastructure management and maintenance while quadrupling IT managers’ efficiency, according to a 2021 Forrester report. 

From a storage perspective, FlexPod offers benefits such as security from edge to cloud. Zero-trust architecture also helps ensure that data is secure no matter where it is stored. With NetApp ONTAP, businesses can create a zero-trust perimeter around any data, anywhere, to ensure only authorized users have access.

Simple scalability: With FlexPod as a service, companies can easily scale up (or down) using a pay-as-you-grow model. Costs are matched to usage to help ensure that businesses aren’t over-(or under-) spending on storage and compute services. “With the tools available, companies can be more economical with scaling,” notes Brick-Margelofsky. “Using the NetApp data fabric concept, they can easily shift storage and workloads anywhere in their IT ecosystem.”

Streamlined automation: FlexPod provides day 0 automation with the configuration of service, storage and network architecture, along with day-to-day automation with predefined storage configurations for virtual machines. It also offers day 2 through N automation to easily add or remove servers and storage.

From security and automation to scalability, FlexPod has the basics covered, but it doesn’t stop there. Backed by the NetApp data fabric, FlexPod lets companies create customized storage frameworks that meet current needs and set the stage for future storage expectations.

A siloless centralized data storage management platform is key to weathering continued challenges for both the present and the future. FlexPod delivers complete visibility, control and customization of data storage environments, no matter where the data resides.

Source: Forrester Report, "The Total Economic Impact™ Of Cisco and NetApp’s FlexPod," Nov. 2021

How to Create Customized Storage Frameworks

Converged infrastructure solutions such as FlexPod aren’t the next big thing — they’re the now big thing. Although they’re not shiny and new like generative AI, they’re a key component of centralized architecture and data management.

“It’s like your smartphone,” says Brick-Margelofsky, “No one gets too excited about new phones like they did in the past. Instead, we have an expectation that our phones should just work right out of the box with better features and efficiencies.” FlexPod solutions are exactly the same – proven, reliable and secure.

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