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Beyond infrastructure convergence: how to deliver value to your business


By Mohammed Safder


mohammed_safder_badge.jpgIn my previous blogs Beyond Cost Cutting and Beyond improving efficiencies and automating business processes, I talked about the fundamental issues IT needs to address to deliver value to the business. In the majority of organizations, “virtualization first,” in particular server virtualization, is pretty much the norm. But taking a siloed approach to virtualizing the workloads will not help an IT organization deliver the desired business outcomes.


In this blog, I’ll look at what organizations need to do, above and beyond infrastructure convergence and virtualization, to deliver value to the business.


The convergence journey started way back when the isolated network became the Internet of today. This was quickly followed by the convergence of server, storage and network. HP’s Converged Infrastructure strategy and portfolio of products and services pioneered this era by helping customers across the globe to gain convergence value at each step of the way through modular, standards-based technology building blocks – designed for convergence – while maintaining optimal protection of their existing investments.


Now we’re heading toward the convergence of data centers themselves – the Converged Data Center. At the highest level, Converged Data Center focuses on accelerating time-to-business value. This can be accomplished by bringing all the IT-related functions together in a holistic manner from the standpoint of facilities, IT infrastructure, people and processes.


However, one size doesn’t simply fit all. Organizations can take a more comprehensive, Big Bang transformation approach or take a more incremental approach to achieve the desired end state. You can even combine the two approaches by putting a big-picture plan in place that helps you move forward as opportunities present themselves to make changes in the data center environment.


HP is consistently leading the era of convergence through our Converged Data Center strategy. We offer a portfolio of products and services that deliver the data center of the future. Most importantly, we help you eliminate silos and integrate IT domains to deliver new levels of simplicity, integration, and automation to accelerate business outcomes that matter. A case in point: HP OneView, which we launched recently, is the first software platform that creates a modern and integrated workspace for lifecycle management of HP Converged infrastructure. This approach shifts your management focus from “how devices run” to “how people work.” It helps you maximize productivity at any scale.


Software-defined data center and beyond


The next wave of virtualization is a logical extension of server virtualization. The industry refers to it as wave 3.0 of virtualization, or SDDC (software-defined data center). The concept of SDDC is evolving at a rapid pace and its adoption will soon become mainstream because of the benefits it provides to the enterprise.


In SDDC, compute, memory, network, storage, security and availability services are pooled, aggregated and delivered on demand by intelligent, policy-driven software. The result is a next-generation data center infrastructure, optimized for a service-centric application delivery model.


Coming back to the point of delivering value to the business, the reality of the situation is that enterprise data centers have evolved over time through mergers and acquisitions. Companies have already made investments in a myriad of technologies. Emerging technologies – the likes of SDDC and integrated management – are not going to be a panacea, and companies are trying to avoid rip-and-replace solutions for enterprise data centers. These emerging technologies will become an integral part of the overall Converged Data Center trend, in which virtualized workloads will continue to co-exist along with traditional workloads for a long time.


What’s more, the legacy infrastructure and applications in today’s data centers were often purpose-built, without appropriate integration in mind. For instance, they rarely have entry points or APIs within them. The result is that there’s no reliable way to leverage them in their current form. Today’s IT staffs just have to deal with this reality, and must also rise to the challenge of modernization.


A broad view brings the best ROI


In order to deliver value, IT organizations need to do more than simply integrate existing silos. If you step back and think beyond the technology, it’s necessary to ask: “What do I really need to achieve and what do I want from a converged infrastructure?”


You want a solution where your investment in people, process and technology is leveraged, where everything just works together to create a service-centric and application-oriented environment. To do that you need to approach it in a holistic manner and consider broader aspects of data center convergence in terms of energy and space efficiency, infrastructure integration, and applications portability, as well as the service delivery model and its impact on your people (both end-users and IT staff).


The Converged Data Center model allows coexistence between emerging models and traditional computing, while transforming to a truly integrated style of IT through gradually right-sourcing workloads, right-sizing facilities and right-shaping the organization elements in parallel. Here’s a conceptual view of the CDC:


CDC conceptual.png


As an HP customer, you can benefit from the collaborative impact of our large global ecosystem of over 4,500 global HP AllianceOne members and partners, who make our convergence solutions portfolio one of the most comprehensive in the world. Private industry and public sector customers are using HP solutions as their foundation for today and for the next-generation data center. It’s their blueprint for a modern architecture that’s integrated by design from the ground up.


 HP can assist you at every step of your Converged Data Center journey. Our solutions portfolio helps you to better handle your current and future challenges, with every solution thoughtfully crafted to fit seamlessly into your organization. To make your journey smooth, we provide comprehensive consulting and support services in partnership with certified partners. From planning through implementation, these services help you simplify IT management, optimize future technology upgrades, improve ROI by maximizing IT investment flexibility, and ensure that you obtain the best results and experience.



HP Partnership.png 


Read how HP Converged Data Center can help you prepare for a hybrid future.


Learn more about HP Converged Infrastructure and how we can help you deliver real value to your business.


UPDATE, 2/6/14: HP has announced four new Converged Management Consulting Services that help enterprises accelerate their journey to the Converged Data Center and get new insights into data center facilities, infrastructure, people and processes. Check out Chris Coggrave's blog Blast through the barriers to DCIM with 4 new HP services for the full story on Converged Management.

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