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No more stranded IT resources


Beach SOS small.jpgBy Chris Purcell

Today’s economy is fueled by new ideas – with businesses leveraging technology to turn those new ideas into disruptive new products and services. And in this Idea Economy, enterprise IT is being asked to deliver unprecedented levels of flexibility, speed and change. The problem for many IT leaders is, the typical enterprise data center just isn’t built to turn on a dime.

Think about how IT evolved. You have your traditional applications that run the business – things like ERP, collaboration, and databases, where change is infrequent and the success measure is reliability. Over time IT has built infrastructure silos around many of these applications, either physical or virtual or both, and has over-provisioned servers and storage to guarantee performance. That leaves IT with stranded resource capacity that can become a drain on ever-tightening budgets.

Now in the Idea Economy, IT is expected to enable a new generation of cloud-native applications – things like mobile apps, social, and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) that are real-time, location-aware and drive new personalized customer experiences and revenue opportunities. These applications operate in an environment where change delivery is continuous and infrastructure changes must be deployed on demand. The problem for IT is that they can’t deliver this experience from a traditional infrastructure.

This forces enterprise IT to operate almost as two separate entities, offering a stable virtualized environment for those traditional applications, while either going to the public cloud or creating a second infrastructure on-premise to support those new cloud-native apps. Neither of those options are optimal. Most enterprises have at least some sensitive applications and data that they don’t want to put in the public cloud, either because of security and compliance concerns or because of questions around cost and control. Building your own private cloud means two infrastructures, two sets of operational practices, more stranded capacity, and tons of complexity and cost.

Moving forward, there is another way, a new architectural vision called Composable Infrastructure. The concept is simple; compute, storage and fabric resources can be provisioned to applications on demand regardless of the style of application or the type and amount of resource.

Composable Infrastructure is built on three architectural layers; a fluid pool of compute, storage and fabric resources that can be aggregated and disaggregated based on the needs of individual workloads, software defined intelligence that provides programmable and template driven control of your environment, and a single unified API for abstracting and controlling all your infrastructure. The ability to access pooled resources on demand eliminates the need for over-provisioning and stranded resources – you get the resources you need, when you need them through a simple line of code or console command.

Traditional applications and cloud-native apps can run on the same hardware. This allows organizations the choice of where and how they want to develop and run applications without all the underlying complexity associated with provisioning and managing infrastructure resources.

What does this mean for business?

  • Accelerated time to value – faster service delivery whether you’re delivering upgrades to a traditional ERP platform or deploying a new mobile or cloud-native application
  • Continuous delivery – quickly, confidently and non-disruptively deliver changes to applications and infrastructure while reducing operational complexity and cost
  • Agile automation - unlock value creation by integrating and automating infrastructure operations and applications

Composability gives IT infrastructure the ability to run without being limited to one computing paradigm – it can run virtual machines, bare-metal deployment, containers, and cloud-native applications. It can run anything and store anything. It allows IT to deliver a full service provider experience, meeting the needs of both styles of IT (traditional and new), while at the same time reducing operational effort and cost.

A Composable Infrastructure allows IT to meet the needs of traditional “run the business” applications, while providing the flexibility and speed to run a new generation of applications, all from a single infrastructure. There is a lot more to the Composable Infrastructure story, so begin your exploration today.

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