Doing more with less is one of the biggest challenges confronting CIOs today. At the same time, CIOs are under great pressure to deliver new and innovative applications and services to users faster than ever. Consider a bank launching a new online customer banking system - imagine the huge amounts of increased data they will have to manage, along with the stresses of delivering an always-on infrastructure.
Data growth is exploding. Amongst other things, storage becomes an increasing challenge in terms of cost of hardware and the management resource required. In addition, companies are also facing the challenge of integrating mobility solutions, social networking - both of which demand 24/7 availability - as well as analytics to enable organisations to move faster and make real time decisions. They also need to grapple with Big Data to explore growth opportunities, and turn social streams into market intelligence.
Traditional systems simply aren’t designed to handle those demanding tasks or adequately equipped to help optimise performance of the applications they are running.
Modernising data centres
As a result, companies are seeking to modernise their data centres to accommodate all the new data and applications, and support this ‘always-on’ requirement. They are also looking to take advantage of new cloud services, as well as solutions like virtualisation and improved system management capabilities to deploy information more effectively and with greater efficiency.
These organisations understand that eliminating complexity and simplifying IT not only lowers operating costs but can also drive better productivity and deliver a quantifiable return on investment as well as a real competitive advantage within their industry.
It’s therefore essential that IT organisations implement hardware that provides both extreme performance and is versatile enough to handle the variety of workloads and workflows required to run a business both now and in the future.
So what should CIOs look for when choosing infrastructure to support a next generation data centre platform?
The four key areas CIOs should consider when looking at a server refresh within their data center include:
All companies, regardless of size and industry, are focusing on how they can move faster, make better decisions and improve their customer experience. They need IT systems that can deliver extreme performance. Good performance is no longer good enough. And while speed isn’t everything, companies should certainly look to the fastest they can afford. What may seem more than sufficient for current and old world business applications may in fact be completely inadequate for future, more complex applications.
Take as an example, a manufacturing company competing with nimble companies around the globe, a pharmaceutical company looking to mine Big Data for insights into breakthrough opportunities in personalised medicine, or a clothing maker looking to monitor and optimise social-media marketing campaigns involving tens of millions of socially connected consumers, thousands of SKUs, tens of thousands of retail outlets, and a booming online presence.
It’s obvious to each of these that time is their enemy and speed is their ally.
Solid operational cost savings
Every year CIOs are asked to adopt the latest technology trend or buzzword and make it priority number one, while budgets are continually cut. The only way to facilitate this is to review and change current operations as a way to find the funds needed to fuel innovation. Consequently, upfront cost when acquiring new assets is clearly an important consideration. That said, the real advantage may come with assessing cost savings that may be realised as the three to four year lifecycle of a given product or solution pans out.
Selecting servers that deliver higher levels of transactions gives companies the ability to deliver even higher ratios of consolidation of existing systems and enabling reductions in maintenance costs and spending on power, space, and cooling, which can help lower total cost of acquisition and ownership in the long term.
Additionally, companies can save the most money in operating cost when they assess complementary technologies used with servers such as virtualisation and systems management. These can help to reduce latency, lower costs, and improve security and reliability. Uniformity of management interfaces and adoption of standards can help to simplify administrative tasks, while an innovative framework design shared across volume servers provides density, efficiency, and economy for modern data centers.
Increased business agility
With enterprise data growing and demand for computing resources increasing, companies need to be sure their cloud and data center solutions can scale up cost-effectively and also helps provide the flexibility to meet changing demand, thereby enabling the business to be agile. Any new server deployed by a company has to help provide incredible flexibility and scalability for both cloud and IT infrastructure requirements.
Security without compromise
Organisations, are becoming increasingly security conscious; at the same time they don’t want security measures slowing down the computing performance of their applications and database. Look for servers with advanced features, for example, on-chip cryptographic acceleration. Things like this mean the customers no longer need to deploy specialised encryption devices or use precious processor compute cycles to make sure their applications are secure.
In summary, it is essential that companies select the right infrastructure that can help provide them the ability to run critical business and enterprise applications faster, make them perform better, and gain faster outputs; all for less cost and lower risk. The right infrastructure can help companies transform and innovate. The result can help organisations to become more agile and focus more on strategic innovation or transformation projects, rather than worrying about “keeping the lights on.”
Ken Albert, Director, Strategic Solutions at Oracle Asia Pacific