You wouldn’t try to pound a nail with a wrench or fix a broken pipe with a hammer. I’ve tried, and it didn’t end well. It turns out I needed a different tool to fix my leaking pipes, one that was actually fit for the job. In fact, it seems like I’m consistently in need of new tools to fix all the things that come up around the house. The more tools I add to my toolbox, the more flexibility I have to deal with the next repair project that comes along.
You might be seeing something similar in your data center these days. You’re tasked with supporting an ever-growing variety of workloads: from traditional applications like ERP and OLTP transactions to e-commerce and a whole new generation of mobile, social, and cloud-native apps. And just as my hammer isn’t the right tool for solving every problem around the house, there is no single type of infrastructure that can support the demands of every workload that gets added in your data center.
Meeting changing demands
Your business is looking for IT to provide cloud-like convenience, flexibility, and speed to give developers the freedom to innovate and deliver new products and services. This creates new demands on IT to be faster and more flexible, demands that are difficult if not impossible to meet with traditional siloed infrastructure. Following standard refresh cycles on your existing environment and installing the latest software management tools can deliver some incremental improvements, but these strategies don’t address the core issue: the complex, siloed nature of your existing infrastructure and the operational inefficiencies and costs that result from that complexity. It’s a bit like me trying to solve my plumbing problem by buying a bigger hammer; it still doesn’t end well.
Why not just leverage the convenience and flexibility that the public cloud provides? The public cloud is a good solution for some workloads, but like everything in life, it comes with tradeoffs. You gain convenience, flexibility, and speed, but you lose some degree of control over risk and cost and are locked into the limitations of your provider. Some applications just aren’t a good fit for public cloud, and many businesses with concerns around compliance and data security are hesitant to go there.
IT organizations understand the shift in demand to put technology out front for every business initiative and to move forward in a secure and sustainable way. To meet this shifting demand, it is essential to equip IT with a full range of infrastructure options (legacy or modern, on-premises or off) that are best matched to the performance, cost, resiliency, and security needs of each individual workload.
Flexibility for what’s next
A hybrid approach to infrastructure recognizes the need to establish the right mix of public cloud, private cloud, traditional IT, and new technologies, all controlled by a single management environment. Two approaches that can boost your hybrid flexibility are hyperconverged and Composable Infrastructure.
Hyperconverged solutions bring together compute and storage in a single frame with an easy-to-use software-management layer. This approach simplifies deployment and management. Hyperconverged appliances are especially well suited to branch and remote office (ROBO) deployments and desktop virtualization, and they can be the first step on the pathway to a fully Composable Infrastructure. Hyperconverged solutions are tools configured to do a specific job, and they do that job really well.
Composable Infrastructure eliminates resource silos by providing a fluid pool of compute, storage, and fabric resources that can be provisioned on demand for the needs of a specific workload and then released back into the pool when no longer needed. Software-defined intelligence and a single unified API enable automated and template-driven provisioning and infrastructure changes while giving DevOps the ability to provision bare metal, virtualized, or containerized resources directly from code. You can run just about anything from a single infrastructure platform, managed from a single pane of glass. IT becomes more agile and nimble, and is able to respond to events as they occur, reducing time to value and giving your business the cloud-like convenience that it craves.
Going back to the tool analogy, Composable Infrastructure is like owning a whole hardware store. Whatever tool you need, whatever operating mode and capacity might be required, is right there at your fingertips.
Plan for what comes next
We often use the words “future proof” in IT, usually describing the ability to scale a given piece of infrastructure in the future as workloads grow (i.e., your new storage system is “future proof” because it can scale from petabytes to exabytes). But your business sees things differently. They view “future proof” as the flexibility to adjust to new competition and opportunities, whatever those might be. The truth is, you really don’t know what the future holds, so you need to be prepared for anything.
Growth and sustainability for your business are about what comes next and whether you’re prepared to respond. A hybrid infrastructure with composability gives the greatest flexibility to adapt and adjust to whatever is “next” for your business.
In this vision of the future, life becomes simpler for IT and DevOps. The tools are there to meet the needs of the business for stable operation of existing systems and to deliver innovative new solutions more efficiently. IT becomes a valued partner to the business, transforming from a cost center to a value generator, with all the perks that implies. For IT leaders, this can mean a greater opportunity to have input at a strategic level, allowing IT to create more value and help the business drive innovation and growth.
Like a full toolbox, hybrid infrastructure that takes advantage of new approaches like hyperconverged and composable solutions gives you flexibility for whatever comes next. Here’s how to learn more about the many ways Hewlett Packard Enterprise can help you transform to a hybrid infrastructure.