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Airing Pandora’s Box: The path to better IT control

WhitneyGarcia

 

Today’s IT infrastructures are akin to Pandora’s Box. As long as you don’t lift the lid, you can skate along choosing to believe all is well. But, like the plethora of evils churning in the mythological box, under the surface lurks a quagmire of fragile environments linked together by a complicated mechanisms, all under the tenuous control of an authority that has only the barest ubigstock-Solution-And-Strategy-Path-96385352.jpgnderstanding of what’s actually going on.

Today’s IT is characterized by deep complexity and a persistent lack of integration. These evils stymie any efforts at streamlining IT, and symptoms of the distress trickle from all corners.

If you listen to IT leaders for any length of time, you’ll quickly discover that the need for better control over IT assets is an ever-present theme. At some companies, it can take weeks or even months to stand up new infrastructure because it’s so difficult to get it all provisioned and integrated. The business has to put new projects on hold to cope with what should be an everyday occurrence. Rolling out innovative apps and services takes far too long because teams scramble with things like firmware updates, and other keep-the-lights-on work that should be largely automated. The problem is further compounded by the fact that IT infrastructure management tools proliferate like wildfire, each assigned to its own part of the underworld.

Intricate, disparate infrastructures are headaches, pure and simple. They’re among the main reasons that IT staffers work sometimes through the night to stave off emergency situations. The truth is, this style of IT simply won’t work anymore. It’s never been great, but now it represents a death knell, and it’s time to put an end to it. We’re now teetering on the edge of a new world for IT, one in which the technologies no longer support the business – they are the business. Most organizations realize they can’t go on in the same fashion. They must lift the lid, and face the music.

To disentangle their draconian environments once and for all, forward-looking organizations are turning to hybrid IT, a mixed infrastructure of cloud and traditional IT environments that is streamlined, compliant, and easier to communicate with than traditional infrastructures. In this brave new world, companies are choosing among three approaches to infrastructure strategies. Each tackles IT control differently:

1. Remain with traditional IT, and make incremental changes.
Predictability can be a good thing. Delivering stable, reliable services with minimum downtime is IT’s first priority. The technologies that make this possible are well known. Many IT shops can still gain efficiency and simplification via virtualization and traditional blade and rack architectures. Regular refreshes and next-generation product replacements can still manage in-house applications that don’t require the tantalizing possibilities of the cloud.

Traditional infrastructure will exist for the foreseeable future, and there’s no need to fix what ain’t broke. But it must work in conjunction with newer architectures. IT is no longer just a cost center, but a revenue generator. Today’s IT leaders want a hybrid infrastructure that offers the right mix of public cloud, private cloud, and traditional IT capabilities for their organization, all under the control of a single management environment. A sensible step in that direction is converged systems, which support a wide range of physical and virtual workloads from an integrated solution stack. This high-density converged infrastructure also helps eliminate server and network sprawl caused by traditional IT silos.

2. Set sail with hyperconvergence.
Increasingly, organizations are choosing to take virtualization to the next level with systems that converge compute, storage, and networking. Hyperconverged systems offer the powerful compute needed for successful virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) initiatives. The offering includes rapid deployment capabilities that help simplify complexity at branch offices and remote locations. They provide a great foundation for a private cloud, and some solutions can plug in to public cloud providers to help balance workloads.

Hyperconverged infrastructure is evolving rapidly, but it’s still not much more than a point solution in some vendors’ stables. Many solutions on the market don’t easily integrate with the data center at large, so there’s a risk of creating another silo, and the resultant difficulties of integrating it into higher data center layers. HPE Hyper Converged Systems are different, able to integrate fully with your existing infrastructure.

3. Embrace a fully programmable data center with composable infrastructure.
Key to improved control of IT resources is an infrastructure that’s more pliable, integrated, and agile – in short, more like code itself. Composable infrastructure is a new architectural approach that delivers true infrastructure-as-code capabilities. This means you can dismantle complexity with fluid pools of compute, storage, and networking fabric that can be allocated almost in real time across physical, virtual, container, and bare-metal environments. A software-defined intelligence deftly allocates resources, while a single, unified API allows you to direct that intelligence with a single line of code.

Composable infrastructure puts you in charge of the data center. It does away with different treatments for traditional IT and next-gen applications, managing both with equal ease. In addition, composability reduces the overprovisioning common to traditional IT setups. Resources can be assembled and disassembled on demand, accelerating the deployment of new apps and services. Finally, it gives you a single management interface with which to control the entire infrastructure.

An eagle-eyed view of the terrain

A unified, yet detailed view of the IT environment is crucial. Once you have a clear map of the terrain that reveals the beginnings and endings of every gully and ravine, things make more sense. You can exert control more effectively.

HPE OneView, HPE’s infrastructure automation engine, grants that detailed insight and more. You can simplify day-to-day operations and accelerate delivery for new applications and services. Automate provisioning, updating, and integrating for compute, storage, and networking infrastructures. Wield a modern, standards-based API that plugs into a large and growing number of tools from a partner ecosystem. Easily integrate infrastructure automation into existing IT tools and development processes.

Take charge with HPE OneView, and:

  • Deploy infrastructure faster. Template-based automation enables IT generalists to provision resources quickly and reliably in response to application owners’ requirements.
  • Simplify operations. Agentless monitoring, online firmware updates, and a new Global Dashboard help you streamline lifecycle operations.
  • Increase productivity. The unified API gives your DevOps teams the power to unify infrastructure automation with application and IT service delivery.

Whatever strategy your organization adopts to clear out Pandora’s Box once and for all, HPE can help. Learn about the many ways we can help you achieve cloud agility with traditional IT predictability.

Whitney

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WhitneyGarcia

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