To digitally transform, organizations need to rethink their business processes and invent new ways—modern applications—to engage with customers, partners, vendors and employees. That means modernizing SAP, Oracle and SQL Server applications, which are at the core of many business processes today, in addition to creating new apps based on those platforms and cloud-native platforms.
Research firm Wikibon describes these core data center workloads as “high-value traditional applications,” accounting for roughly 40% to 50% of IT spending in many organizations. Reliance on these apps to drive the business means that “any serious digital transformation and cloud strategy must provide a path for modernizing these applications,” Wikibon says.
As IT decision-makers consider investments to modern infrastructure, one important factor to consider is technical debt. Wikibon describes this as the opportunity cost of lost strategic options because of past technology choices, noting, “In a digital economy, the enterprises that reduce technical debt will win against traditional players and be best positioned to respond to digital natives.”
Converged and hyperconverged infrastructure systems from Dell Technologies―a complete stack of technologies engineered, manufactured, managed, supported and lifecycled – are designed with an architecture that is future-proofed to avoid technical debt. These systems consolidate and modernize entire estates of critical business, general-purpose and data analytics applications.
Here are five advantages of IT modernization with converged and hyperconverged infrastructure.
Advantage No. 1: High availability and data protection
Downtime is devastating in terms of lost revenue, damage to customer experience and goodwill, employee morale and regulatory compliance.
Loss of critical data in unthinkable. So look for workload modernization systems built from the ground up for high availability and with the full spectrum of data protection:
- Backup and recovery for essential protection against data loss
- Replication and continuous data protection to meet any recovery point and recovery time objectives
- Continuous availability of workloads (nondisruptive data mobility between sites)
Converged infrastructure lets IT take advantage of best-of-breed high-availability components in an architecture to ensure no single point of failure. IT can leverage hybrid cloud and a broad data protection suite built into the converged systems, which, according to IDC, reduces unplanned downtime for critical business workloads by 99%.
Advantage No. 2: Rich data services and high efficiency
Reduce cost and improve efficiencies by taking advantage of built-in converged infrastructure storage with all-inclusive management software, including enterprise-class capabilities such as compression, deduplication, replication, encryption and copy data management.
Converged infrastructure enables IT teams to leverage next-generation flash technology and data efficiency tools to support high-end as well as midrange application performance, reduce data center resource consumption and leverage the strategic value of data in real time, according to Taneja Group.
Advantage No. 3: High performance and scalability
Converged and hyperconverged systems “have matured into robust platforms that offer substantial benefits, including the right mix of operational and capital efficiencies,” IDC says. The systems can scale compute and storage asymmetrically for precise, cost-effective right-sizing―from a terabyte to more than 100 petabytes of storage and from two to hundreds of servers.
End-to-end NVMe protocol support and in-memory databases enable the high performance and low latency required for digitally transforming high-volume transaction processing and artificial intelligence. Getting the most value from next-generation SAP, SQL Server and Oracle requires these modern infrastructure capabilities.
Advantage No. 4: Cloud-like automation and flexible consumption
Choosing data center systems with built-in cloud-like operations capabilities is the best modernization path for essential applications that can’t or shouldn’t be moved to the public cloud because of technical, regulatory, cost or other issues, according to Wikibon. “In effect, this involves undergirding applications with hardware that is imbued with cloud-like services,” it notes. “This is like keeping the application in place in your data center or hosting facility and ‘migrating the hardware.’”
The latest generation of converged and hyperconverged systems are designed to bring the cloud operations experience to the data center. Automation combined with flexible consumption models delivers new resources, scales existing resources, and shrinks them back down on demand—letting you get what you need whenever you need it and only pay for what you use—like a public cloud.
Advantage No. 5: Single-call support and lifecycle management
The traditional practice of “building your own infrastructure” keeps IT operations focused on maintaining infrastructure and coordinating multiple equipment vendors for troubleshooting and upgrading systems, depriving human resources from application and IT service innovation.
Look for complete systems with single-call support for the entire technology stack―compute, storage, data protection, networking and virtualization―to simplify incident and problem management. Also look for systems that offer lifecycle management―the delivery of firmware and system software―for programmatically upgrading the entire technology stack.
Together, these converged infrastructure advantages can result in two times more IT staff time for innovation and other activities related to critical business applications and IT services compared with what previous data center infrastructure allowed.
Taking the next step
IT teams can’t afford to take risks with business-critical applications. At the same time, they need to modernize these apps to support exponential data growth while using automation and software-defined architectures to reduce IT complexity and costs. Converged and hyperconverged infrastructures are a proven solution for IT modernization that have continued to evolve as the needs of IT have changed.