Saturday, 23rd February 2019
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Why agility is a key differentiator for today’s future-proof data centre

Digital transformation continues to be a key priority for executives today that are looking to future-proof their business, and also tap into the capabilities of emerging technologies to positively impact operations. In fact, digital transformation is seen as a key differentiator for organisations, as a recent survey revealed that 85% of organisations experienced significant disruption in their field in the last year, and more than a third of businesses (35%) find digital transformation key to keep up with competitors. By John Morrison, VP EMEA Sales and Services, Extreme Networks.

However, some businesses find it difficult to quantify the impact of digital initiatives. Unlike an IT project or marketing campaign that can be clearly measured, it’s difficult to measure digital transformation using a single metric. With that said, businesses are defining key objectives for digital transformation, and agility remains a key priority. How do businesses achieve agility? The answer lies in the data centre, in which visibility and automation play a key role.

Unlock agility with visibility and automation

In today’s increasingly digitised world, it is critical for businesses to achieve operational agility and work efficiency to maintain a competitive edge. Organisations should look to implement a data centre solution that incorporates a one-two punch: pervasive network visibility and integrated, cross-domain automation. This dynamic combination provides IT with business-critical, real-time visibility, enabling them to closely monitor wire to workload and intelligently automate the infrastructure life cycle that includes provisioning, troubleshooting and remediation of services. These will in turn decrease downtime, increase agility and transform the user experience.

Combining visibility and automation is a sure way of attaining network agility. Coupling the two key elements yield invaluable data analysis that enables intelligent decisions. It is imperative for network visibility to work in conjunction with automation, whilst visibility into resource usage and payload patterns is vital. This provides businesses with real-time insight into network performance and enables the effective distribution of resources. Visibility and automation are the two critical elements for today’s future-proof data centre.

Interweaving agility into the DNA of the data centre – across all layers and domains

The network is a combination of devices, applications, capabilities and functions ranging from orchestration systems to software. Whilst businesses look to digitally transform their processes, ensuring network agility should be a priority, across all layers and beyond TCP/IP and the OSI model, to accelerate innovation and adapt to new services and features quickly. Workflows play a crucial role within data centres and connecting cross domains together seamlessly. It automates the different phases of a network’s lifecycle, from configuration to troubleshooting and remediating issues. These are fundamental elements of a data centre’s DNA, which should not be added on at a later stage. Open-source event-driven automation platforms such as Stackstorm connect multiple services, providing flexibility and adaptability. These elements combine to form a platform that supports a business’s current and future needs.

The network is among one of the multiple domains, such as computing, storage, applications, OSS/BSS, that make up an organisation’s technology infrastructure. Businesses should examine visibility throughout its various technologies, and prioritise incorporating the entire IT environment, culture and skillsets, such as policy, people and process, to ensure an impactful digital transformation.

Jumpstarting digital transformation

Digital transformation is a significant process, and often organisations need support in order to begin the digitalisation. It’s an opportunity for vendors to provide customised and adaptable technologies that are suitable to a business’s unique needs, empowering the company with confidence to begin deployment. Vendors must provide solutions that include both automation and visibility, and are easily deployable, without being a burden on IT’s resources. Businesses require solutions that can be unboxed and deployed on day one, so that organisations can start to benefit from transformative technologies.

The building blocks for a business-critical, agile data centre

The data centre is an integral part of a business that adopts new cloud applications and business capabilities. The secret to developing a best-in-class, robust data centre solution includes pervasive network visibility and integrated, cross-domain automation. At the core of a business’s network, the data centre helps to achieve network agility, allowing businesses to gather and analyse data quickly to enable intelligent decisions.

Initiating the process of digital transformation and implementing new technologies may seem difficult. However, solutions such as Extreme’s SLX Insight Architecture and Extreme Management Center empower businesses with new methods of monitoring, automation and troubleshooting which makes it easier, quicker and more cost effective to obtain real-time visibility required for network operations and automation. With a leading data centre solution, businesses can develop flexible, scalable and next generation infrastructure that aligns with current technologies and IT work flows to master operational agility. This enables businesses to not only meet short-term business objectives, but also drive innovation and further digital transformation in the long-term.

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