Wednesday, 27th May 2020

Making autonomous data centres a reality

Ultima has launched its Autonomous DC solution to allow datacentres to be run in a fully automated hybrid-cloud environment; managed through a single interface using RPA and machine learning.

The solution allows datacentre processes to be automated in a phased way, at the appropriate speed to an individual enterprise, with the end goal being a fully automated datacentre. Ultima’s Autonomous DC is designed to reduce the complexity in running on-premise infrastructure by using automation, AI and machine learning to augment human resources.

Scott Dodds, CEO, Ultima says: “CIOs have been talking for years about the holy grail of autonomous datacentres, but we’re doing it now. Businesses spend too much time and energy on dealing with upgrades, patches, fixes and monitoring of their datacentres. The biggest cause of network downtime is human error, so by automating these processes, we are giving CIO’s and their staff the time to focus away from support and management to look at strategy and innovation, and the tasks that will lead to digital transformation and real business value.”

While some datacentres may be well run, most currently suffer from three critical issues:
• Lack of consistency of support, for example, humans make errors when updating patches or maintaining networks leading to compliance issues.
• Lack of visibility for the business, for example, multiple IT staff look after multiple apps or different parts of the network with little coordination of what the business needs.
• Lack of speed when it comes to increasing capacity or migrating data or updating apps.

However, a fully automated datacentre where there is one overarching platform for on-premise and public cloud with a single point for managing and controlling the datacentre solves these issues. All migration, maintenance, upgrades, capacity changes, auditing, back-up and monitoring is automated and the datacentre operates in a self-healing, optimum way at all times.

The new offering was born when Ultima found itself solving similar problems for three of its customers comments Matthew Beale, Modern Datacentre Architect at Ultima. “We were moving three customers from their end of life 5.5 version of VMWare and we recognised it would be helpful to be able to automatically migrate them to the updated version, so we developed a solution to do this. Where once it would have taken 40 days to migrate workloads we’ve cut that in half, resulting in a 33% cost saving for those companies. We then moved on to looking at other processes to automate.

“We want to take our clients on a journey to full datacentre automation - rather like moving from a manual drive car to driver assistance for a single then multiple operations, to a fully autonomous ‘driverless’ car. Currently, humans manage, monitor and operate the datacentre which requires manual tooling and thresholding. The first level of automation provides information for administrators to take action in a user-friendly and consumable way, moving to a system that provides recommendations for administrators to accept actions based on usage trends. From there automation leads to a system that will automatically take remediation actions and raise tickets based on smart alerts. Then you move to a fully autonomous datacentre utilising AI & ML which determines the appropriate steps and can self-learn and adjust thresholds,” says Beale.
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