Archive for the ‘Converged Infrastructure’ Category

Pursuing the Modern Data Center: A Buy-Not-Build Approach

Ujjwal Rajbhandari

Ujjwal Rajbhandari

IT Director, Cloud Engineering, Dell IT

In today’s fast-moving, software-driven technology world, even die hard techies don’t find it compelling to build their own computer systems out of their favorite components like they did a decade ago. Today, it makes more sense to buy a laptop or desktop ready-made to run the latest software without customization. The same can be said for companies pursuing the modern data center.

That’s why Dell Technologies is taking a buy-not-build approach to transitioning our data centers to the cloud as legacy Dell and EMC converge in a single modern data center effort.

Historically, both Dell and EMC have been working to virtualize and optimize their data centers, with a current combined virtualization level of about 77 percent.  We are continuing those efforts with a plan of reaching 100 percent virtualization near-term. But our overall goal is to transition beyond virtualization to the cloud, where we can leverage the agility, elasticity, resiliency and dynamic characteristics of a truly modern, software-defined data center.

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Moving Toward a Seamless Cloud: An OpEx, IaaS Model for the Future

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.
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Converged vs. Hyper-Converged Infrastructure: Getting the Right Mix

Srini Maguluri

Srini Maguluri

Consultant Architect — Office of Architecture and Innovation

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.

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Building a Software Defined Data Center: Automation, Orchestration and Agility

Rock Whitney

Rock Whitney

Consultant Systems Architect, EMC IT
Rock Whitney

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 IT is 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.

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The EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud: Hitting New Heights

Mike Norris

Mike Norris

Vice President, Cloud Platforms, EMC IT

EMC IT’s ongoing quest to meet business’ need for speed and on-demand infrastructure has entered a new chapter as our IT organization implements a software defined data center using EMC’s Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud technology. As we continue to build our infrastructure and services in the cloud, there are several lessons we have learned along the way that will hopefully help your organization on your path to the hybrid cloud.

Our Journey              

Like most organizations, EMC IT has virtualized and consolidated our infrastructure, achieved significant cost savings, and continued to drive down provisioning time and increase agility. After this, we used a myriad of tools, software, and scripts to deliver some Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) capabilities.  The introduction of new EMC Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud technology (FEHC) is accelerating our progress toward a software defined data center by leveraging a fully integrated technology stack with virtual networking, storage and security, in addition to the virtual compute layer we have been – accustomed to for years.

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Pulling Ahead with Converged IT Infrastructure: More Time in the Driver’s Seat, Less under the Hood

Paul Divittorio

Paul Divittorio

Sr. Director, Cloud Infrastructure, Distinguished Engineer, Dell IT

With the demand for IT infrastructure growing at a steady rate in most organizations, embracing converged IT infrastructure allows IT operations to keep pace with demand without ramping up resources and expenses. Converged infrastructure combines compute, storage, and network in a single package, through technology such as VCE’s Vblock. EMC IT was an early adopter of Vblock in 2009/2010—first to enable our virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and then to support the build out of our brand new 100 percent virtualized, cloud data center.

EMC IT found that standing up IT infrastructure in pre-assembled, converged chunks offers several advantages, including a single vendor for support, a single end-of-support date for all technology components, and a single code release/support stack.  In addition, due to the reduction in footprint, cabling and errors, we’ve seen faster deployment times.

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