Green with IT Envy: How Enterprises Can Mimic the Speed and Agility of Cloud Giants

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By Paul Miller, HPE Vice President of Marketing, Software-defined and Cloud Group

Envy. Everyone at some point has felt it. We want to be as outgoing as someone, as confident, as successful. IT envy is just as real. We hear what other companies are doing in their datacenters and wish we could achieve the same level of speed, agility and innovation in our own.

The target of most of this IT envy is who I call Cloud Giants. Cloud Giants are some of the largest service providers in the world, with hundreds of thousands of servers. Compared to enterprises, Cloud Giants take very different approaches to IT infrastructure. These differences make it difficult for envious enterprises to simply copy the infrastructure habits of the Cloud Giants to gain speed and agility.

But that doesn’t mean that hope is lost for the enterprise. There are lessons to be learned from the Cloud Giants. Instead of copying, enterprises need an infrastructure that enables them to mimic the Cloud Giants, while still being able to run enterprise applications at enterprise scale.

This is why HPE developed Composable Infrastructure. Composable infrastructure consists of fluid pools of compute, storage, and fabric that can dynamically self-assemble to meet the needs of an application or workload. These resources can be defined in software and controlled programmatically through a unified API. In this way, IT can transform infrastructure into a single line of code that is optimized to the needs of the application.

Let’s take a look at how composable infrastructure helps enterprises mimic the efficiencies of the Cloud Giants:

Procurement and Provisioning

Cloud giants have the luxury of buying thousands of servers, and the associated networking and storage, all at one time. This allows the Giants to provision everything in advance to meet the specifications of a handful of unique applications (applications that they've written themselves!)

Enterprises usually have different teams that purchase and deploy servers, networking and storage that then have to be connected together after they are installed. This significantly increases the amount of time it takes to get the infrastructure in place to run new applications.

With composable infrastructure, the idea of fluid resource pools of compute, storage and fabric allow enterprises to have infrastructure in place all at once, like the Cloud Giants, and then can easily configure it to match the needs of any application.

Hardware and Applications

Cloud Giant’s software applications are written with their hardware in mind, which drives efficiency. In addition, Cloud Giants can build inexpensive and low-resilience data centers with high-resilience software that runs smoothly with minimal downtime. This also drives efficiency.

Enterprises, on the other hand, run mostly packaged applications, which require optimized hardware configurations, adding more management complexity across the infrastructure. And these off–the-shelf applications are not built with resiliency in mind.

With composable infrastructure, enterprises can run all of their applications on a homogeneous infrastructure with the flexibility and resiliency necessary for both traditional and cloud-native applications. Software-defined intelligence allows enterprises to be able to have their infrastructure flex to the needs of the application (instead of having the application flex to the needs of the infrastructure).

Operations and Maintenance

Cloud Giants often have tens of thousands of servers begin managed by a single person. Doing manual updates and directly logging into a server is just not feasible at that level of scale. To address this, Cloud Giants once again have customized and written their own scripts to automated mass deployments of firmware.

Enterprises are striving to achieve this level of automation as well, but often times find that just the heterogeneous nature of their infrastructure makes it very, very complicated to actually automate it.

Composable infrastructure simplifies maintenance by using software-defined intelligence with template-driven, single-touch provisioning and operations management. With a self-discovering, self-securing, self-orchestrating, and self-diagnosing nature, it minimizes manual intervention. This flexible architecture uses a single-pane-of-glass, as well as a unified API, to simplify automation of operations and maintenance tasks.

While Cloud Giants take a different approach to their IT, enterprises that are envious of their speed and agility need not fret. HPE Synergy, the first platform built from the ground up for composable infrastructure, allows enterprises to mimic Cloud Giants. No need to be green with envy. With composable infrastructure you can reduce complexity, drive automation and increase operational speed for the new breed of applications and services.

To learn more about how composable infrastructure can help your IT behave more like a Cloud Giant, download: Composable Infrastructure for Dummies.