Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Benefits of an Enterprise-Class Server and Data Consolidation Solution

Many CIOs are rethinking how they architect their IT infrastructure to better deliver applications and services to end users

CIOs cited reducing enterprise costs; improving IT applications and infrastructure; improving efficiency; and improving business processes among the top 10 business priorities, according to a Gartner Executive Program Survey conducted last year.

To address these business priorities, many CIOs are rethinking how they architect their IT infrastructure to better deliver applications and services to end users. A study conducted by IDG Research Services[1] in 2013 surveyed 333 IT directors or higher titles at enterprise companies with more than 500 employees and reported that 77% of IT leaders globally believe data center transformation will play a highly important role in delivering business goals to their organizations.

Instead of allowing remote and branch offices to maintain the hardware and data, many enterprise CIOs today are centralizing storage and backups to their core data centers. This makes sense for the sake of simplicity and ensures IT managers adopt a ‘hands-on' approach to device management, which mitigates the security risk and complexity of having multiple backup systems and dispersed data sets. In addition, organizations with offices in sometimes unstable or physically challenging locations may not want any locally stored data in those offices, due to security concerns and potential data risks.

The reality of recovering from a disaster, whether natural or human-induced can be a daunting task in a typical branch office set-up. Most often data protection solutions are tape-based and can take days to recover and leave an organization exposed to delay and data loss. A typical branch disaster recovery requires not only physical hardware replacement, but a rebuild and patching of the operating system, reinstallation of applications, virus scanning, and full-data recovery prior to returning to service. Organizations that rely on weekly full and daily incremental backups of branch data face the additional challenge of restoring from multiple tapes and the loss of new data created between the time of the outage and the last captured backup.

Centralizing storage and backups to core data centers also minimizes travel expenses since data experts are rarely at the edge to provide support and management. According to IDG Research[2], 37% of organizations utilize non-IT staff to manage backups at remote branch offices, and this number grows to 67% when the branch office is located outside the United States. Centralizing these services to core data centers puts the data back in the hands of IT experts, rather than non-IT staff filling a role they are not equipped to manage.

Business Drivers
A significant driver for many organizations interested in storage consolidation, however, is cost. Companies want to maximize their investments in storage area networks (SANs) and realize the benefits of centralized storage. Chief among those benefits is achieving lower IT costs by eliminating the need to purchase and maintain local storage and server hardware. A new concept, which bridges this gap, is storage delivery technology.

CIOs are realizing that core business priorities can be addressed and solved, but they need to start by addressing core IT processes and transforming the data center.

As part of this movement, IT managers can expand storage capacity and look to extend the benefits of a consolidated approach to larger branch offices and data-intensive applications that previously were difficult or impossible to consolidate because of local performance requirements.

A Changing IT Landscape
Consolidation has the potential to empower businesses of all sizes to remove servers and data from branch offices and centralize them in the secure data center - without sacrificing user experience. This new architectural approach makes it possible to centralize backup operations and remove data from high-risk locations, while increasing agility and lowering the costs of managing remote office IT. High-risk locations can be any location that may be more susceptible to natural disasters, remote areas that are difficult to access, hacking, political turmoil, or even outright theft. To succeed in this dynamic environment, IT leaders need agility, security and control, while business users demand performance.

Identifying the optimal deployment location for IT assets such as servers and supporting storage systems is one of the more challenging aspects of the IT decision process today. When the edge of the enterprise and the core at the data center are linked together in an integrated solution, IT organizations can centralize control, security, and protection of distributed server and storage assets. This approach ensures timely access to (or recovery of) data and applications relied on by users across the extended organization while maximizing IT agility. Organizations can quickly adjust to changing conditions with the right information, delivered at the right time and in the right place to serve customers and partners better while keeping employees happy and productive.

Protection of Data
In-line with the growing volumes of data, enterprises should be able to decommission branch backup and recovery systems, shifting data protection operations to the secure data center. Enterprises are able to utilize their well-honed data center backup and recovery systems and procedures and skilled personnel to protect branch data.

Snapshots of a backup - a read-only copy of the data set at a point in time - are an integral part of ensuring your IT operations are running smoothly. In today's IT environment, administrators must be able to quickly set and assign hourly, daily, or weekly storage snapshot policies to ensure application-consistent data protection in conjunction with supported data center storage arrays.

Once storage snapshots are created in the data center, in addition to leveraging the disk snapshot for fast recovery, many organizations are replicating to a secondary data center or sending a copy to cloud storage environments to ensure data is located offsite.

Conclusion
Organizations' information bases and requirements are constantly changing in response to shifting customer demands and business requirements. Consolidation of systems to centralized data centers must make processes faster, less operationally intensive now and in the future. A well-thought-out IT architecture will make it easier to scale, making it simple to expand additional services to new user bases and locations. Finally, a solid IT architecture will make it easier for an enterprise to react quickly when disasters strike or as the needs of the organization change.

Resources

  1. "Gartner Executive Program Survey," Gartner, 2013
  2. "Riverbed Data Center Transformation Survey," IDG Research, 2013

More Stories By Gil Haberman

Gil Haberman is a group marketing manager at Riverbed Technology. Riverbed at more than $1 billion in annual revenue is the leader in Application Performance Infrastructure.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
ChatOps is an emerging topic that has led to the wide availability of integrations between group chat and various other tools/platforms. Currently, HipChat is an extremely powerful collaboration platform due to the various ChatOps integrations that are available. However, DevOps automation can involve orchestration and complex workflows. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Himanshu Chhetri, CTO at Addteq, will cover practical examples and use cases such as self-provisioning infra...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
"Storpool does only block-level storage so we do one thing extremely well. The growth in data is what drives the move to software-defined technologies in general and software-defined storage," explained Boyan Ivanov, CEO and co-founder at StorPool, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, provided some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacent...
Blockchain. A day doesn’t seem to go by without seeing articles and discussions about the technology. According to PwC executive Seamus Cushley, approximately $1.4B has been invested in blockchain just last year. In Gartner’s recent hype cycle for emerging technologies, blockchain is approaching the peak. It is considered by Gartner as one of the ‘Key platform-enabling technologies to track.’ While there is a lot of ‘hype vs reality’ discussions going on, there is no arguing that blockchain is b...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
The use of containers by developers -- and now increasingly IT operators -- has grown from infatuation to deep and abiding love. But as with any long-term affair, the honeymoon soon leads to needing to live well together ... and maybe even getting some relationship help along the way. And so it goes with container orchestration and automation solutions, which are rapidly emerging as the means to maintain the bliss between rapid container adoption and broad container use among multiple cloud host...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
The need for greater agility and scalability necessitated the digital transformation in the form of following equation: monolithic to microservices to serverless architecture (FaaS). To keep up with the cut-throat competition, the organisations need to update their technology stack to make software development their differentiating factor. Thus microservices architecture emerged as a potential method to provide development teams with greater flexibility and other advantages, such as the abili...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.