What is the value of migrating to a Software-Defined Data Centre?

The Software-Defined Data Centre is pivotal for organisations in delivering an IT infrastructure that can support the agile enterprise while retaining the level of control needed to ensure resilience, compliance and security.

In December, HighPoint hosted a webinar specifically focused on this topic that explored the value, challenges and best practice in migrating to a software-defined approach. This first blog in our series will expand on the outcomes you should be looking for when embarking on your journey to a software-defined data centre.

What Is A Software-Defined Data Centre?

The Software-Defined Data Centre extends the virtualisation concepts such as abstraction, pooling and automation across all of the resources and services in the data centre. It allows organisations to make the paradigm shift from thinking in terms of how the infrastructure works to focusing on what they want the infrastructure to achieve – the ‘intent-based’ approach.

This allows for data centre operations to be defined in terms of a common set of policies which can then be used to drive automation, deliver pervasive security, accelerate multi-cloud adoption and achieve application assurance.

What are my SD-Data Centre options?

Each of the leading data centre technology vendors have their own specific solutions in this area and not surprising each have different pros and cons. The solution we have the most experience in, and as such will use as our example in this blog series, is Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Cisco ACI is a comprehensive Software-Defined Network Solution that is delivered on an agile, open and highly secure infrastructure and focuses on the needs of the application to provide policy-based network services.

What are the fundamental benefits of SD-Data Centre?

In a digital world, organisations need to be more agile and require an IT infrastructure that can adapt at pace to changing business needs. Fundamental to this is leveraging hybrid-cloud environments that combine the control and security of their own data centre infrastructure with the scale and elasticity of public cloud offerings.

The Software-Defined Data Centre enables organisations to create an agile business-centric architecture that combines the scale, simplicity and elasticity of cloud providers with a highly secure, automated, software-defined fabric on-premise infrastructure.

What are the IT Outcomes you should expect from SD Data Centre?

In deploying an SD Data Centre solution such as Cisco ACI, IT organisations will be looking to increase agility and scalability of their IT infrastructure at the same time as gaining greater control and security. Here are just some of the benefits you should expect:

Greater Controlthrough the granular segmentation of applications (Application Micro Segmentation) and the enforcement of policy over these segments regardless of where they reside across your data centre infrastructure.

Greater Agility – through the use of automation that significantly accelerates the deployment and redeployment of applications and services.

Increased Securityby consistently applying security policy’s against each application as it operates through your data centre and hybrid cloud environment.

Increase Application Performance – with increased visibility of the end-to-end applications and the use of analytics to understand and continually optimise performance.

Lower Operating Costs – by leveraging the use of automation of IT operations and management.

What are the benefits delivered to the wider business?

By increasing the agility of both your data centre infrastructure and your operations, this inherently delivers significant benefits to the wider business including:

Increased Business Agility – with the capability to not only rapidly scale infrastructure and resources, but to deploy new applications and services faster.

Faster Go-To-Market – the ability to enable innovation in products and services and have the IT systems and applications in place to support the timely go-to-market of these innovations.

Increased Efficiency – not only in terms of the utilisation of the physical resources of the business, but also the productivity of the people through closer aligned business systems.

Lower TCO – through more efficient usage of infrastructure and reduction in the cost of provisioning, managing and supporting this infrastructure.

In the next blog in this series, we will take a look at some of the main challenges that organisations face when migrating to a Software-Defined Data Centre.

If you are currently exploring a software-define data centre or expanding your multi-cloud environment and want to understand what is possible, why not join us on the 3rd of March at our Breakfast Briefing in London at the Cisco City office. For further details and to register your place, please see below:

Written by Neil Dearman, Head of Technology, HighPoint