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The Data Center’s Evolving Paradigm: Managing the Transition to a Software- Defined Approach

Something interesting is going on in enterprise data centers. Companies are finding that nothing they do within the glass walls yields a competitive advantage. Application strategy, business process optimization, industry innovation — the way IT supports those initiatives can help a company stand out in a crowded and competitive market. But the way a company runs cable doesn’t.

by Mark Vaughn, Director, Strategic Technology Group, Monday, 14 May 2018

As a result, these companies face some tough questions every seven to ten years or so: Is it worth the effort and cost to build out or expand our existing data center? Do we want to be in the business of buying and installing upgraded environmental systems, building a raised floor, and designing rack space every time a lease expires or we outgrow our current footprint? Does this unending cycle of wrench-and-replace make good business sense?

For a growing number of businesses, the answers to these questions is no — or at least a qualified no. When they crunch the numbers, some find they want to get out of the data center business altogether and shift workloads to the cloud, and others realize they want a hybrid approach combining an on-premises data center and the option to move additional workloads to the cloud as needed. In both cases, VMware Cloud on AWS (VMW on AWS) can deliver the software-defined data center as an on-demand service to support companies with a wide range of priorities:

  • They’re seeking to minimize the complexity of their current data center. They have consolidated data centers in the past, but they still have the redundant processes and duplication of resources that drive up costs.
  • They want to reduce risk by being geographically diverse and spreading additional workloads to the cloud. The cloud strengthens their disaster recovery posture without paying for duplicate offsite environments and the associated management costs.
  • They want to use the cloud as a growth platform to accommodate additional workloads related to business expansion— with the flexibility to easily turn additional server capacity on and off.
  • They want to use the cloud as a development and testing environment that they can deploy when needed, as needed — and move the workload back to the on-premises environment when it becomes production-ready.

With VMC on AWS, your data center looks  like what you would build on your own. It includes physical servers dedicated to your business, as opposed to an environment where you share resources with other businesses. It is powered by VMware Cloud Foundation which integrates vSphere, vSAN, and NSX (along with VMware vCenter management), and is optimized to run on dedicated, elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure. In other words, it isn’t a scaled back version of your environment or a limited version of VMware solutions—it’s of the same software that is running in your on-premises data center.

At the same time, it offers the on-demand availability and capacity of the cloud. For example, in a traditional on-premises environment, the task of installing patches usually means that the business experiences diminished capacity during the patching process. With VMC on AWS, the business gets seamless access to additional infrastructure during the patching process, with no disruption or degradation of service. Likewise, in the event of a hardware failure, businesses running an on-premises data center will often have to wait for a vendor to send a technician on site who will then diagnose the issue and install a fix (assuming the right components are at hand). With VMC on AWS, the faulty server is repaired or replaced in a matter of minutes and the business is back to full capacity.

Some of the same considerations that make VMC on AWS an attractive option lead many businesses to seek out the expertise of a partner like Presidio to help them manage the transition. The ability to control costs is at the top of the list. Presidio maintains strong relationships with both VMware and Amazon.  They can help companies qualify for loyalty discounts and structure deals to make the transition more affordable. With the guidance and expertise that Presidio provides, many companies find that with a one year subscription, the cost of running their data center in the cloud is the equivalent of managing their on-premises environment. With a three year subscription, customer can  realize a dramatically lower TCO versus an on-premises alternative.

The right partnership can pay off in other ways. Sometimes a current AWS customer sees higher costs than they expected. High volumes of data traversing between on-premises and cloud environments at peak times can dramatically impact budgets and is often unnecessary.  Presidio can help companies avoid surprises. They design cost-effective strategies for hybrid environments that optimize traffic and keep costs in check.

The bottom line: By moving some or all of their data center infrastructure to VMC on AWS, IT departments get the freedom and flexibility to focus on workloads, not the infrastructure that supports them. By forging a strong partnership with Presidio to help manage the transition, companies can take advantage of cloud economics, gain new efficiencies, and achieve more with their IT environment.


Presidio
Presidio is a leading North American IT solutions provider focused on Digital Infrastructure, Business Analytics, Cloud, Security & Emerging solutions. We deliver this technology expertise through a full life cycle model of professional, managed, and support services including strategy, consulting, implementation and design. By taking the time to deeply understand how our clients define success, we help them harness technology advances, simplify IT complexity and optimize their environments today while enabling future applications, user experiences, and revenue models.
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