5 Things to Know about Modernizing Your IT Infrastructure
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New business demands are driving new applications, which get us into a digital world. A rich, meaningful digital experience is the key to effective engagement in today’s integrated digital world. Companies are able to customize digital experiences for their employees with personalized, targeted content for fully connecting with customers, co-workers and business partners in the most powerful and productive way.
Inside the data center, these new applications each have their own non-functional requirements, from the infrastructure perspective.
Benefits provided by the data centers are attainable only when they are operating flawlessly. However, electronic components develop at different speeds, therefore, maintaining a good balance between component lifecycle and performance is a challenge.
Consider the following five points while sizing or planning a modernization of your data center infrastructure:
1) Non-volatile memory express (NVMe): NVMe started out as one of a handful of protocols to enable a faster connection of a flash drive to a PC through the PCI Express bus. Although it is becoming the de facto standard for that in the PC world, in the enterprise world, it is all about extending local connection out of the PC and into the world of networked storage through fabric. The goal of this technology is to give flash drives in a storage network the same I/O speed as one connected directly to a computer through PCIe.
2) Fibre Channel: Fibre Channel devices play an important role within the data center. Fibre Channel is the most reliable way of sending and receiving packets, due to the fact that frames sent must be received in order and are not dropped by the switch. Performance is the key advantage of Fibre Channel. Currently running at 32 Gbps, it aligns perfectly with flash storage speed. At the same time, latency is kept very low, minimizing the delay between data requests and deliveries.
3) Hybrid cloud: Today, most organizations have turned to social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies to unlock new value from data by using data analytics. Data analytics allows you to easily examine data sets to draw conclusions about the information they contain. The insights gained from data analytics can be useful for decision-making, to answer questions, and to test hypotheses. To maintain a healthy balance between data requirements and cost, a hybrid cloud approach comes to forefront. It is ideal in helping you to match the workload with the right infrastructure, allowing you to optimize efficiency while also only budgeting for the resources that are required.
4) Software-defined storage (SDS): As its name implies, SDS refers to IT storage that goes beyond typical array interfaces (for example, command line interfaces and graphical user interfaces) to operate within a higher architectural construct. SDS supports overall IT architectural definition, configuration, and operations often referred to as software-defined infrastructure (SDI) within a software-defined environment (SDE), or the more restrictive software-defined data center (SDDC). Although this approach is possible (and probably easier to implement) in a homogeneous, single-vendor implementation, its greatest value and versatility is as standardized programming interfaces applied across a heterogeneous multivendor IT infrastructure.
5) Strategies for success: Because one size doesn’t fit all, a hybrid strategy is a preferred way to go. To achieve this, a powerful infrastructure is required. Speed of access to data is one of the most important factors. The development of the flash storage devices helped with the insatiable desire for data access speed; but, even that is not enough for the most demanding uses, SAN switches, servers, software-defined infrastructure (SDI) technologies. This means a bigger picture needs to be analyzed to build a balanced ecosystem.
Leveraging all the IT resources across the organization, creating a flexible and scalable platform for innovation and change, is moving organizations away from thinking about IT as a backroom activity. These companies are putting IT in the forefront of empowering innovation and transformation.
For more information about this topic and learn more preferred practices and specific technologies read this recent IBM Redbooks Publ
This book can help you with planning your IT infrastructure and considering important aspects of IT (such as SAN switches, storage systems and software-defined storage. To meet some of the authors and learn more, click here to watch the video.
Meet the blog author:
Abilio Oliveira is an IBM Certified Expert IT Specialist and works as a Client Technical Specialist in Storage at IBM Asia Pacific. He has 23 years of IT experience. He holds a bachelor degree in Computer Science with a Masters in Data Information Security. He has expertise in designing storage solutions with OpenStack and storage for cloud technologies. He also is an SME in Storage Infrastructure Optimization studies, XIV and DS8000 Storage Systems.