Time to make the switch
on April 11th, 2013 by DSG - 0 Comment(s)
You've spent the last few years, untold amounts of company funds, and a large portion of your life fulfilling the dream of the virtualised data centre. No-one can deny that this was time, and money well spent, infrastructure once only available to those privileged with deep pockets now runs in your business, allowing you to respond quickly to server requests, improve the protection of data, and recover quickly if disaster strikes.
So what's wrong? Why aren't you happy?
The unfortunate thing is that in the same time the global economy has also changed. In Australia we're heading for a soft landing, however it would seem the resources you need to keep IT running are not as available as freely as they once were. Costs have skyrocketed, the storage, backup, disaster recovery, software, licensing and operational costs are taking their toll on what little resources are available, and the efficiencies gained are starting to erode.
You're not alone, many Australian organisations are dealing with the hangover from a period of tremendous change within the data centre and considering options to continue to support the need for more performance, more storage, more protection, for less investment.
It's always good to know where you've come from.
Looking back, what are the investments that have worked, and what are the things you can do without. It's hard to disagree that straight virtualisation is a non-brainer, simple and effective, but do you need the expensive features, or can you reduce licensing costs, only paying for what you use.
You have options.
Hyper-V 2012 from Microsoft has come a long way from the me-too virtual infrastructure Microsoft first debut a few years ago. When comparing core functionality such as live migration, high availability and replication, Hyper-V may provide what you need, and reduce the cost of your virtual infrastructure. To limit the risk, and the cost of all-in migrations, we've seen companies deploying Hyper-V to support new initiatives, or non-critical workloads. This allows a strategy of gradual migration, often using remaining software license periods to allow a controlled migration.
If you're happy with VMware, look at your license level. VMware has a mature product, but you may only need the bare essentials, and by reducing licensing tiers, the only thing you'll miss is the renewal bill.
Move non-core applications to the cloud.
By now just about any IT service has been associated with the 'C' word, and you're probably wondering why you would migrate core applications to an externally hosted service. Cloud isn't the natural progression from virtualisation (that only works on Gartner slide packs), but rather should only be considered for applications that are commodity, non-core, and widely deployed. The best example of this, is email.
Review your current email environment, consider the capacity and performance that may be released if email wasn't hosted internally. It might be the case that some critical mailboxes are still kept on premise, whilst non-critical (and infrequently accessed) mailboxes are moved to Office 365.
This can remove significant management overhead, leaving you to focus on ensuring the availability and performance of core and unique business apps suited for your on-premise environment.
Simplify storage operations.
The biggest ticket items in your data centre are the devices that hold the information. They should be too, after all most all company information is stored of these costly appliances, sometimes the data is stored multiple times, just to be sure it can't be deleted forever.
The technology has undergone a massive change over the last few years. The advent of higher capacity and solid-state drives is transforming the traditional architecture and economics of enterprise storage.
Products from companies like Nimble Storage combine these technologies, to reduce the footprint of storage, and deliver 2x the capacity, and 5x the performance of traditional arrays. Using innovative software-based approach, also reduces the complexity of storage operations, simplifying the provisioning and management of data backup and replication.
New developments including Nimble Storage Infosight, enable you to monitor the health, performance and capacity of your storage environment in the cloud. Logon to the Infosight portal and view your entire Nimble Storage fleet, and understand areas for improvement.
The data centre and virtualisation and cloud-services markets have matured significantly over the past few years, and the time is right to consider you're next move.