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Be the speed hero: turbocharge IT with hybrid infrastructure



“I feel the need… the need for speed!”

It’s a classic line from the movie Top Gun from Tbigstock-Military-airplan-on-the-speed-14201702.jpgom Cruise’s fighter jet pilot Maverick to his partner, Goose (an almost unrecognizably young Anthony Edwards of TV’s ER). Speed is what drives Maverick, and he seeks out fast thrills wherever he can find them, even if that means entering the danger zone (cue the soundtrack, please). While most of us in the tech industry will never get behind the controls of a fighter jet (Larry Ellison is an exception), speed is still important in ways that go beyond simple thrills. Much like in a dogfight, speed can make the difference between victory and defeat in business, too.

Businesses of all sizes are feeling the need for infrastructure that’s speedier and more maneuverable. In today’s economy, success is often defined by a company’s ability to turn ideas into innovative products and services faster than the competition. The C-Suite is looking for IT to be a catalyst for change, not a constraint. And that can take you into a “danger zone,” because traditional IT is built for stability, not speed.

A flight delay for next-gen apps?

The traditional IT applications that run your business – ERP, CRM, OLTP databases, for example – have SLAs and objectives defined around reliability and stability. IT is tasked with reducing operational cost and complexity, improving efficiency, and above all else, keeping these systems running.

At the same time, IT is being asked to support a new and rapidly growing set of mobile, social, and cloud-native apps that drive business growth. Digital transformation is creating a new set of demands for IT that focus around speed and time-to-value, adding complexity to IT environments that were already struggling with workload-specific hardware platforms, resource silos and disparate processes.

IT leaders are caught in the middle, supporting two separate and conflicting operating models. The new generation of apps fuel business growth, but traditional “keep the lights on” IT still consumes most of your IT spending. Line of business owners are technology agnostic – they’re looking for service levels and are perfectly happy to go to outside vendors if IT can’t meet their needs. So what’s the way forward?

Re-fuel the old…

One option is to stick with what you know, the traditional approach to IT, and make incremental changes to improve operational speed. Technology refreshes can help, bringing enhanced virtualization and modern infrastructures that make deployments easier and a little faster. You might also consider adding an additional software control layer in your environment, a more unified interface to reduce the complexity of managing different resource silos.

All of these alternatives add value and provide improvements. But are they enough? There’s a scene in Top Gun where Maverick is flying a training exercise – a dogfight against two opponents. He makes all the right moves, seemingly outmaneuvering both opponents, only to fly directly into a trap. After the exercise, Maverick’s flight instructor says, “That was some of the best flying I’ve ever seen – right up to the part where you got killed.”

For IT, the trap is thinking that you can resolve the issue of operational speed without addressing the root causes of operational inefficiency at the hardware layer. And while no one is getting killed in your data center, your I&O team is getting tired of working nights and weekends just to keep up. There has to be a better way.

…or take off with something new?

Your business is looking for public-cloud-like convenience and speed. Those are hard to achieve with incremental changes. So why not just let users go to the public cloud and be done with it? Well, like most things in life, the cloud comes with tradeoffs; you gain convenience and speed but lose some degree of control over risk and cost. Some applications just aren’t a good fit for public cloud. Many businesses with concerns around compliance and data security are hesitant to go there.

The alternative is a hybrid approach, establishing the right mix of public cloud, private/hybrid cloud, and traditional IT opportunities in a mixed infrastructure, controlled by a single management platform. Companies ready to move beyond their existing IT models should consider these approaches:

Hyperconverged infrastructure. These systems bring together compute, storage and networking in a single frame with an easy-to-use software management layer. This approach simplifies deployment and management of IT infrastructure, and enables companies to take a confident step towards hybrid cloud. Hyperconverged solutions are especially well-suited to deployments in branch offices and remote locations, and to use cases such as creating and managing virtual machines or supporting virtual desktop infrastructure. On the downside, some hyperconverged systems require a different infrastructure for physical and SAN-attached applications, meaning there are still management silos associated with these systems. However, that’s not the case with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Hyper Converged systems.

Composable infrastructure. This new category of infrastructure eliminates resource silos by turning compute, storage and networking into fluid pools of resources that can be provisioned on-demand for the needs of a specific workload, and then released back into the pool when no longer needed. A software-defined intelligence governs the resources, and a unified API lets you allocate them with a single line of code.

DevOps developers can leverage the unified API to “compose” infrastructure as needed. Provisioning is template-driven and fully automated, supporting physical, virtual, containerized, and bare-metal deployments. Composable infrastructure can reduce the time needed to deploy new compute, storage and fabric assets from days or weeks to minutes.

A new horizon

Hybrid infrastructure is the new reality for IT, providing an effective bridge from traditional IT to the digital enterprise. With the right strategy, you can kick on the afterburners and deliver change at the speed of your business, instead of struggling just to keep up.

Learn more about the many ways Hewlett Packard Enterprise can help you transform to a hybrid infrastructure and achieve cloud velocity without compromising traditional IT predictability.

Check out this short video to learn how Belgium’s national postal carrier leveraged HPE solutions to deliver new applications with more agility, quality and speed.


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