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.
If you are heading into the office today, chances are you won’t stay tethered to your desk for long—if at all. Workplace settings have become more flexible and creative in today’s world, with seamless Wi-Fi access, modern meeting rooms and digital conferencing. Personal devices are pervasive. Our workplaces extend far beyond the office setting, with mobile technology letting us do our jobs on the train, at the coffee shop and from our homes.
Organizations that want to keep pace with a flexible work world and attract and keep talented employees need to create a digital workplace where team members can work seamlessly anytime, from anywhere.
We at Dell IT are kicking off a multi-year effort to do just that—to create a digital experience centered on an agile, highly mobile work culture that gives our team members the freedom to get more done from anywhere. (more…)
Creating a single data lake to serve a newly merged Dell Inc. and EMC Corp. is a bit like harnessing the tectonic shifts in the Earth’s crust that form the more traditional lakes some of us would rather be fishing on.
Both companies—united last fall as Dell Technologies, the world’s largest privately held technology company—have relied on somewhat different technologies to perform critical Big Data analytics that are key to their success. Critical data for each company was housed in multiple legacy systems and platforms. The challenge was how to bring everything together in a central repository—i.e. a data lake.
As soon as the groundbreaking merger took place last fall, a newly merged Big Data team, for which I serve as lead architect, began working to develop a world-class data ecosystem that would provide the right data, in right place, in the right format and at the right time to solve for current challenges and position the company for digital transformation.
IT Proven allows you to leverage Dell IT’s first-hand knowledge and best practices to accelerate your own IT transformation journeys, transforming operations and delivering IT as a Service through the power of cloud computing. IT Proven highlights how Dell IT transformed into an agile, innovative, and competitive service provider.
Today, Bask Iyer, Dell and VMware’s CIO, was named a 2017 inductee into the CIO Hall of Fame from IDG’s CIO. This prestigious honor is bestowed upon a select group of outstanding IT executives and visionaries who have had a significant impact on the IT profession. He will officially accept his award at the CIO Hall of Fame awards ceremony in August; but I thought today’s announcement of it would be a good reason to catch up with Iyer to discuss what this means for him and his teams at Dell and VMware.
Bringing Dell and EMC together for one of the biggest IT mergers in history means extensive integration efforts that will span many months. But the key challenge our team faced even before the merger was complete, was one of the critical business process integrations leading to the launch of Dell Technologies in the marketplace.
We were charged with integrating EMC and Dell’s dual Saleforce.com systems to provide thousands of sales professionals seamless access to data and opportunities across both companies on Day One of our groundbreaking merger. We wanted our sales teams from each company to be able to sell products from both as we officially launched Dell Technologies.
What’s more, bridging the gap between the disparate Salesforce systems was needed to avoid the error-prone inefficiencies of sales reps, account managers, and finance professionals manually reconciling and reporting on data from disconnected systems.
How do you cool today’s modern data centers, running increasingly high density and high performance equipment built to manage exploding amounts of enterprise data? This presents a substantial cooling challenge for data center managers. Fortunately, we at Dell IT have found a way to take the heat off of such cooling demands.
After many months of careful experimentation, we recently determined that using a cold aisle containment approach in our Durham, N.C, data center, we can safely maintain our equipment at 78 degrees F. This is six degrees warmer than the original design threshold of 72 degrees F. The increase means we can now leverage free-air cooling—air circulated from outside rather than mechanically cooled air—in our data center 80 percent of the time instead of 60 percent. (Think of it as opening a window in your house rather than running the air conditioner.) This will cut our cooling costs by 25 percent.
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.
From using analytics to predict how our storage arrays will perform in the field, to engineering product configurations to best meet customers’ future needs, EMC is just beginning to tap into the gold mine of intelligence waiting to be extracted from our new data lake.
In fact, we are currently working on dozens of business use cases that are projected to drive millions in revenue opportunities. And we are just scratching the surface. There’s a lot more data available, more to be harvested, and more analytics to be built out as data scientists and business users hit their stride in exploring a new era of data-driven innovation at EMC.
As I noted in my earlier blog ( The Analytics Journey Leading to the Business Data Lake), EMC IT embarked on creating a data lake to transition from traditional business intelligence to advance analytics more than two years ago. A key focus of this effort was to address the fact that data scientists and business users seeking to leverage our growing amount of data were stifled by the need for such projects to go through IT, which was a costly and slow process that discouraged innovation.
We now have the foundation and tools in place to use data and analytics to create sustainable, long-term competitive differentiation. To get here, we worked closely with EMC affiliate Pivotal Software, Inc. to mature together and leverage the multi-tenancy capabilities of their Big Data Suite.
EMC IT is innovating and developing new IT solutions that not only meet our internal customers’ growing data and IT demands but also help us drive improved space utilization and energy efficiencies in our modern data centers.
For example, in our regional data center in Cork, Ireland we used “hot aisle containment” technology to decrease machine energy consumption by 24 percent. In our Hopkinton Data Center, we increased space efficiency and reduced power consumption to extend the facility’s life by five years. And leveraging IT’s own business analytics tools, we were able to apply predictive and deeper analytics into application and device power usage—to drive further efficiencies.
Read more about our Efficient Data Centers and how they further EMC’s commitment to sustainability in EMC’s 2015 Sustainability Report.
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.
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