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Can an On-Premises Data Center Match the Cloud’s Simplicity?

What are the primary motivations for moving to the cloud? For many businesses, it boils down to simplicity. They want to reduce the complexity of their current network and data center and capitalize on the flexibility and efficiency the cloud offers. IT departments want to shift their focus from the day-to-day demands of managing technology and concentrate on delivering the innovation that technology makes possible.

by Mark Vaughn, Director, Strategic Technology Group, Wednesday, 30 May 2018

But what about those workloads that the business wants to maintain on-premises for security or performance reasons? Are they doomed to higher complexity and cost simply because they’re better suited for an on-premises model?

The fact is that transitioning to a cloud or hybrid cloud environment doesn’t necessarily mean the business automatically simplifies IT delivery and reduces costs. Some workloads are better suited to an on-premises environment. The business may have sensitive data that it wants to keep on site. Or it may want to maintain data in close proximity to an application to reduce latency and streamline workloads for demanding client applications such as CAD design tools or medical imaging media files that need to write to a disk quickly. A hybrid cloud strategy allows the business to orchestrate the movement of data so it can keep what it needs on site, and archive securely in the cloud when it makes sense.

Technologies such as hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) delivered through vxRail can bring the simplicity and flexibility to an on-premises environment that is usually associated with a cloud deployment. With HCI, the business can simplify the on-premises environment by collapsing infrastructure from multiple layers of physical hardware to a single appliance with a software-defined alternative. It tightly integrates compute and storage, virtualizing them on a single hardware platform. Advanced storage functions run in a tightly integrated software layer – delivering enterprise-class services that were previously provided via storage hardware. HCI on vxRail provides a level of simplicity similar to that of cloud-based solutions for on-premises infrastructure.

With vxRail, storage services like de-duplication and compression are provided by vSAN instead of in a separate layer of physical hardware. Existing resources provide all of the storage services without the added complexity and cost of dedicated storage. VSAN abstracts storage in the same way vSphere abstracts servers from the physical hardware. This makes sizing, building, and maintaining an on-premises environment much simpler.

HCI delivered through vxRail also eliminates much of the risk involved in planning for future needs. In the traditional approach, if a business builds out more physical storage than it needs, it spends too much money. If it builds out less than required, it has to spend dramatically more on a forklift upgrade. With vxRail, the business can simply add a new node when it outgrows its current storage footprint. Instead of trying to anticipate future needs and run the risk of guessing incorrectly, IT can grow computing or storage capacity in a more predictable way without continually adding new hardware and disrupting ongoing business in the process.

If a business is considering shifting at least some workloads to the cloud, it has already recognized that it needs to simplify its approach. Why not start simplifying the data center in all locations? As new infrastructure is required, multiple layers of hardware purchase can be avoided with hyper-converged infrastructure. Technologies such as vxRail can help make some of the benefits of the cloud a reality in on-premises environments and simplify data centers.

When a business is weighing its options for which workloads to keep on-premises and which to migrate to the cloud, it helps to have an experienced partner who understands the challenges and needs related to both environments. A partner like Presidio has proven expertise as a cloud and on-site data center provider and can help you devise that strategy that capitalizes on the best of both worlds. The drive to simplify IT environments doesn’t necessarily mean transitioning all workloads to the cloud. Presidio helps businesses develop a strategy that makes sense for specific requirements while embracing flexibility and simplicity across all environments so IT can focus on projects that add more value to the business.


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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