Datacentre Dynamics in the Cloud Era
Oct 28 2013
Enterprising IT organisations are re-evaluating strategies in search of lower costs, greater capacity and improved agility
What once used to be a defined environment where traditional desktop devices were commissioned by companies, where employees operated within a specified office location, where information was stored in the confines of an organisation and applications were owned by the company; has now dramatically changed and given way to a ‘mobile way of working’. According to a Citrix Mobile Workstyles survey commissioned in last year, it was found that 46 per cent of the surveyed Indian organisations now provide mobile work styles for employees, and are continuing to expand this scenario.
Today’s new found imperatives create a scenario that is on the opposite spectrum of this traditional defined environment. Employees are bringing their own devices and they are not expected to be in a specific location to access the business information. And organisations are leveraging applications which are available on the cloud eliminating the need to host them in their own private datacentre.
The need for datacentre transformation needs to impact today’s emerging technology objectives such as faster app delivery, reduced risk of downtime, increased capacity utilization. Resultantly, datacentres are undergoing a fundamental transformation and need to be rearchitected to deliver quality service reliably, securely and economically to support the corporate mission.
These changes have forced datacentres to be agile for delivering information seamlessly to users on any kind of network on any device. To address this requirement, the concept of a converged datacentre is finding resonance as a possible solution to resolve this complexity of modern datacentre infrastructure. A converged datacentre is a combination of private and public datacentre or a datacenter delivering cloud services. Before we delve into the workings of a converged datacentre, let us try and understand differences in private and public datacentres and when should IT decide to go for a converged one.
In a private datacentre, data is delivered on demand by enterprise IT whereas in public datacentre, data is delivered on demand by external service providers. Public datacentres allow multiple customers to share the underlying resources with each paying only for the resources it consumes. Public and private data centres both provide a number benefits. Private datacentres are commonly used when direct control is needed. While private datacentres don’t necessarily have greater reliability or security than public datacentre, governance requirements sometimes mandate that sensitive data, as well as applications that access that data, remain on-premise.
Enterprise IT organisations that follow a converged datacentre strategy get the best of both worlds by selecting which applications and which usage scenarios fit best in their private datacentre and which fit best in a public datacentre. Depending on the requirement, the converged datacentre can deliver information to users on applications which are owned by the organisations or on applications which organisations have adopted from the cloud.
Some key benefits of converged datacentre among others include seamless delivery of business information on demand, flexibility to provide resources based on business cycle or business dynamics, ease of adoption and implementation of application and reduction of downtime by providing cloud based data recovery capabilities.
Following is a roadmap for creating a successful datacentre transition to secure maximum efficiencies from a converged datacentre model:
Identify end user requirement to analyse whether the objective is to promote BYOD or to deliver information to users who are away from office.
Analyse apps required to deliver the business information to the users. They also need to evaluate the timeframe for developing these applications or import them from the cloud.
Decide the right partner who can deliver Converged datacentre as seamlessly as possible to provide superior network service provisioning and performance.
Successfully managing application workloads in these modern datacentres requires a flexible, scalable, application-aware network.
Adopt an integrated, application-aware network services and security offerings designed for virtual and cloud environments.
Implement technologies that will support any kind of end user device including HTML5, open source technologies, etc.
In a nutshell, the cloud era is forcing enterprising IT organisations to re-evaluate their strategies, causing them to search for lower costs, greater capacity and improved agility. The emergence of converged datacentre is a result of this re-evaluation and the realisation that future technologies will rely on this model for delivery of information. zz
(The writer is India head,