Exploit New Data Center Architectures to Reduce Infrastructure Footprint and Costs

Future-proof your data center investments. Prepare to exploit tomorrow’s disruptive infrastructure changes today.

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Your Challenge

  • The current convergence reference architecture is a combination of consolidated network storage (SAN/NAS), one wire network fabric (e.g. 10 Gig Ethernet), consolidated servers (likely blades) based on industry standard x86 processors, and server virtualization software.
  • The current convergence reference architecture has led to greater utilization of processing and storage resources (with vendors making a lot of money in the process). But this architecture will not scale for big data, mobility, and cloud computing.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Change is being forced from two directions:
    • Demands created by new kinds of applications: hyperscale web, mobile, analytics, social, and e-commerce applications.
    • Opportunities created by evolving infrastructure technologies: microservers and systems-on-chips, solid state storage (SSD) and server-side flash, in-memory processing, and software-defined networking (SDN).
  • Enterprises looking to provision infrastructure at scale for big data, cloud SaaS, and mobile need to develop a vision of converged infrastructure for their infrastructure roadmaps that goes beyond the current convergence reference architecture.
  • Info-Tech recommends an annual review of disruptive technologies feeding into look-ahead monitoring and planning for adoption and exploitation.

Impact and Result

  • Organizations have realized benefits in availability, management agility, and server capex savings through convergence and virtualization. This effort should continue to be a theme of your infrastructure roadmap for the future.

Contributors

  • London Health Sciences Centre

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Get to Action

  1. Prepare to recognize and exploit change

    Future-proof the data center.

  2. Evaluate Future Data Center Needs

    Identify the best opportunities for innovation or efficiency in your core data center architecture.

  3. Assess disruptive technologies

    Decide when to adopt emerging technologies to get the most value for least effort and disruption.

  4. Develop action plans

    Ensure execution and designate responsibility.

  5. Communicate and execute the roadmap

    Ensure buy-in and follow-through.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

  • Call #1: Evaluate your future data center needs

    Visualize your core infrastructure roadmap to identify key requirements, gaps, opportunities, and barriers as you investigate the value and readiness of disruptive technologies for your organization.

  • Call #2: Assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of current and future technology

    Assess the value and readiness of disruptive data center technologies such as ARM, system-on-a-chip microservers, server-side flash, in-memory computing, and software defined networking.

  • Call #3: Conduct a data center roadmap workshop

    Identify opportunities to exploit emerging data center technologies, gain a better understanding of how these technologies might affect your data center roadmap in coming years, and create a working roadmap to help manage change.

  • Call #4: Update your data center roadmap

    Review your Infrastructure Roadmap, assess its success, and identify opportunities for improvements and remedial actions.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Change Is Coming – Get Ready to Exploit It

The Purpose

Visualize a five-year timeline for plans around core data center technologies: servers, storage, and networking.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Exposes risks, gaps, and opportunities.
  • Helps share knowledge among team members across technology domain boundaries.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Populate the roadmap with current state and established milestone information
  • Infrastructure roadmap update/overview
1.2 Define the roadmap’s time frame; review asset lifecycles
1.3 Identify gaps, risks, and challenges on the roadmap
  • Risks and opportunities analysis
1.4 Identify opportunities on the roadmap

Module 2: Assess Disruptive Technologies

The Purpose

Understand disruptions affecting each layer of the hardware stack.

Key Benefits Achieved

Avoid the risks and exploit the benefits of disruptive technologies sooner by deciding when to adopt, pilot, or test.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Use Info-Tech’s technology monitor to assess readiness and value of disruptive technologies: SDN, ARM-based processors, SoC architectures, SSDs, In-memory computing
  • SWOT analyses of disruptive technologies
  • Technology monitor analysis

Module 3: Develop Action Plans

The Purpose

Develop a comprehensive implementation strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Get to action sooner by clarifying requirements, responsibilities, and milestones.
  • Manage stakeholders by communicating the benefits, costs, and risks of disruptive technologies.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Position disruptive technology actions on the roadmap
3.2 Validate the business rationale for disruptive technologies
3.3 Develop action plans and milestones
  • Emerging Technology Plans
3.4 Consider alternative technologies

Module 4: Communicate and Execute the Roadmap

The Purpose

Compile the New Technology Exploitation Plan.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Get to action sooner by clarifying requirements, responsibilities, and milestones.
  • Manage stakeholders by communicating the benefits, costs, and risks of disruptive technologies.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Validate and compile outputs from previous activities
  • New Technology Exploitation Plan

Module 5: Wrap Up

The Purpose

Compile a standard operating procedure document (SOP).

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Proactively identify and exploit future disruptive technologies.
  • Continuously improve your organization’s ability to exploit disruptive technology.

Activities: Outputs:
5.1 Define responsibilities, milestones, and indicators for progress and success
  • Infrastructure Roadmapping SOP
5.2 Establish or update your annual roadmapping calendar
5.3 Establish a process for making changes to the roadmap

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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Search Code: 73624
Published: October 25, 2013
Last Revised: October 25, 2013

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