It’s the holiday season and that time of year where we get together with friends, family and loved ones. Big gatherings are common which are fun for some, stressful for others. My family has grown beyond the dining room in my Mom’s house, so we now find ourselves having the big family holiday dinner quite literally in the play room above her garage. Yes, we carry all of the holiday dinner out of the kitchen, up the stairs, through a hallway, and into this room, because it’s the one big room in the house where we can all comfortably sit and eat. So Mom gets a little stressed, but luckily she has a nice, empathetic family. Inefficiency be damned, we optimize for the moment.
IT executives face a similar dilemma in managing day-to-day data center operations, but their customers and user base are a touch less empathetic. Fortunately, we now have the ability to expand off-premises, so we don’t have to buy that big expensive house anymore and can pay for capacity on demand. But we still struggle with how to optimize those expansion capabilities and manage our TCO of our enterprise IT infrastructure assets. (more…)
Successful companies like Ford and Netflix have deployed more than just innovative consumer service models; they also use cutting-edge cloud native IT architecture to quickly adapt to changing market demands.
Cloud Native is an architectural principal that helps IT developers write applications in a way that that maximizes the use of cloud environments where tight coupling of applications to underlying infrastructure is eliminated. Combined with the right Platform as a Service (PaaS) capabilities, this approach reduces your organization’s time to market, increases responsiveness to customer feedback and cuts operating costs—all the things today’s innovative companies thrive on.
If your organization is struggling with how to keep your enterprise data secure in the cloud, you aren’t alone. The fact is, the modern data center poses some fairly new security challenges and there is no rule book on how to meet them. Even in security, we are learning as we go.
For most IT organizations, deploying a successful enterprise hybrid cloud is the next step to bringing together all the efficiencies and capabilities they’ve achieved through infrastructure virtualization, standardization and consolidation, and the ongoing evolution of software automation to deliver self-service capabilities.
At EMC IT, we are in the midst of this hybrid cloud transformation, beginning with an internal hybrid cloud platform, called Atlas, which has been providing agile, on-demand infrastructure (IaaS) to our IT users over the past year.
While our enterprise hybrid cloud is continuing to evolve and grow, I wanted to share some insights with you on our project goals, as well as technology and business choices for this important leg of our IT transformation journey. (For more details check out our white paper and reference architecture, EMC IT Enterprise Hybrid Cloud.
At EMC, as with many companies across the globe today, we are pursuing our path to digital transformation—enabled by our internal IT Transformation. For EMC IT, digital transformation points us towards a vision of personalized products and services, real-time information and analytics smartly helping ‘pilot’ the business, and contemporary customer experiences enabled on smart devices. In other words, we are transforming EMC into a software defined enterprise (SDE). The question is what does “software defined enterprise” (SDE) really mean for IT and how do we get there. By way of an answer, our Office of Architecture and Innovation team recently came up with a game plan—appropriately called EMC IT Architecture of the Future.
We have created a comprehensive blueprint detailing the foundational architecture principles which are critical to achieving our software defined enterprise goals. While the priorities highlighted in the plan are not new, this is the first time IT has brought them together in a single vision defining how each fits to deliver SDE. The intent is to help clearly communicate IT’s role in making the notion of SDE a reality.
Running everything under one cloud where we can seamlessly move workloads on and off premises as we need to and pay for IT infrastructure as we use it—that is the vision EMC IT is pursuing when it comes to its SAP mission-critical applications. As a first step toward that goal, we are in the midst of a pilot program to migrate some SAP applications to an off-premises environment operated by enterprise-class Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) hosting provider Virtustream. EMC acquired Virtustream, a global managed cloud services provider, in 2015.
As part of our ongoing SAP ERP journey, EMC IT will begin leveraging Virtustream’s IaaS model and its unique migration and chargeback technology in a pilot effort which will begin our methodical approach to off-premises expansion.
By the end of-April, we will have migrated our first SAP application—Sales and Operational Planning (S&OP)—to Virtustream’s off-premises hosted cloud environment. Virtusteam will then support S&OP using its unique software solution, xStream, which will also provide consumption-based chargeback capabilities, enabling us to more accurately track our utilization costs and more accurately bill business units for what they consume. (more…)
Converged infrastructure (CI)—pre-engineered and deeply integrated blocks of compute, storage and network that deliver mission-critical performance offered as a turnkey solution—has been a game changer in helping IT keep pace with rapidly evolving business demands. And now a more agile technological cousin, called hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), offers similar plug-and-play efficiencies using building blocks in smaller, more flexible chunks.
So when should you use converged infrastructure and when is hyper-converged technology a better option? The answer depends on what IT workloads you are running, how much resiliency is required, and the need for guaranteed performance verses agility and scalability.
Are you ready for application delivery at the speed of light?
EMC IT is making giant strides to deliver the capabilities its business customers need, faster and less expensive than ever before through the use of a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution along with an innovative development methodology.
In June, EMC IT launched EMC Pivotal Cloud Foundry (ECF) PaaS, the on-demand delivery of an automated IT platform which includes compute, network, storage, data protection, security, operations, and monitoring for application development. Our ECF runs on vSphere infrastructure which enables developers and cloud administrators to provision development environments on demand.
Despite the emergence of IT as a Service and the rise of self-service catalogues, most IT operations—including EMC’s—have remained largely manual when it comes to filling users’ requests for networking, storage and compute, struggling to keep pace with growing demand. Until now, that is.
EMC ITis in the process of rolling out a new set of tools, based on a combined approach to infrastructure and automation that will reduce the time it takes to fill customers’ infrastructure demands from months to days or even hours.
The new production environment uses EMC’s Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud (FEHC) management platform on VCE Vblock™ converged and hyper-converged infrastructure to provide the abstraction of hardware through software. Translation: IT clients will no longer have to come to the IT infrastructure team every time they need a new environment or an additional server. They can self-provision these services using a truly automated portal and with a standardized set of components.
When introduced, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) was revolutionary in that it promised IT data centers a vehicle for virtualization and rapid provisioning of physical platform components (compute, network and storage). Today’s IaaS solutions have grown to fulfill that promise and much more. Now with the fast adoption of Platform as a Service (PaaS), IT data centers have broadened their rapid provisioning offering to include additional layers such as the operating system, middleware, and application runtime components.
PaaS essentially holds the key to a leaner, faster, more flexible approach to next-generation application development. Application developers are now up and running in hours and minutes as opposed to what would have taken days or even weeks in the “pre-PaaS” era.
Not only does PaaS allow your development environments to be enabled quickly, it also provides your programmers with the complete set of integrated services they need to deliver robust applications such as relational databases, message-queuing, caching, etc. (more…)
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