We are in such a rapidly advancing and maturing technology state that the IT world is adapting its lexicon at a rate that can be breathtaking. New terms such as Web Scale, Hyper-convergence, and DevOps are evolving at a time when enterprise data centres have become increasingly complex.
It’s worth attempting to de-mystify these terms and to explain how calling on the services of appropriate external managed service providers can take the fear, mystery and uncertainty out of some of today’s technology advances.
So let’s start with some definitions. Research House Gartner says “Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting by re-thinking positions across several dimensions”. The researcher maintains that big cloud service providers like Amazon, Google and Facebook are “reinventing the way in which IT services can be delivered”. They say that to remain competitive and keep pace, “enterprises need to emulate the big boys’ architectures, processes and practices”. Who wouldn’t want to mirror the outstanding success of these cloud giants?
An industrial engineering perspective
Advising enterprises on how to do this, Gartner recommends that they design data centres “with an industrial engineering perspective that looks for every opportunity to reduce cost and waste”. This, says Gartner, “goes beyond redesigning facilities to be more energy efficient, to also include in-house design of key hardware components such as servers, storage and networks”. The pay-off is that web oriented architectures enable developers to build very flexible and resilient systems capable of recovering from failure more quickly.
Again, data centres can be complex beasts, but, through external service providers or even elsewhere, Gartner says “open and freely available blueprints of data centre facilities and associated server, storage and networking hardware are lowering costs and disrupting the traditional IT vendor landscape”.
And, if you have doubts about the future of web-scale IT, Gartner forecasts that it will be an architectural approach found operating in 50% of global enterprises by 2017, up from less than 10% in 2013. So what are your plans? Have you thought about emulating web-scale IT?
Beware the obstacles
It all sounds so obvious, simple and direct but there are many obstacles blocking some enterprises from adapting to web-scale IT and that’s why it is so important to consult with professional and experienced outside experts to determine the most value-adding and cost-effective path for transformation.
Then there’s ‘hyper-convergence’ for which Margaret Rouse, of WhatIs.com, has this definition: “Hyper-convergence is a type of infrastructure system with a software-centric architecture that tightly integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualisation resources and other technologies from scratch in a commodity hardware box, usually supported by a single vendor”. And it’s here we enter the work of SDX, Software Defined Networking and the like, where basic parts of an enterprise system are automated through software, leaving the decision makes to focus more on innovation and core profit-generating activities.
DevOps, which is a term combining ’development’ and ‘operations’, is basically a philosophy that believes both software development and delivery can be dramatically improved by the application of a combination of appropriate technology and a forward thinking attitude. This philosophy seeks to bring together two worlds that have traditional operated separately, encouraging communication, cooperation and team work.
The cloud underpins all
Of course, the cloud, and its current maturity, is what facilitates these evolving philosophies and can bring together previously divergent systems and approaches. It could be said that we are now in the cloud generation. As Nutanix describes in their Web-scale 101 From Hyper-Convergence to Cloud Infrastructure ebook says, the holy grail for the future is “a breakdown of boundaries between the public and private cloud, and between different hypervisor platforms, enabling complete mobility of virtual machines and data. Public cloud services such as those from Amazon and Google have set the bar for ease of use and rapid self-service, and enterprise IT users expect private infrastructure to step up to the challenge and to provide a seamless experience”.
Transforming to web scale, hyper-covergence and discovering the benefits of DevOps can be a challenging journey and that’s why there are expert outside providers to partner with for success in these complex areas. To find out more about how Logicalis can support you and your business, head to our Solutions and Services section.