The modern data center is much more than storing a large amount of data. It is the backbone where operations and the entire IT infrastructure are centralized, and should be capitalized on in terms of flexibility, scalability, security and performance. It is an area that has evolved a lot and that is transforming itself through virtualization and the cloud. Optimizing data center processes is crucial to eliminate silos, allow business continuity, streamline and simplify the work of IT professionals, speed up users’ access to data and systems, and ensure that everything works safely, without problems, with maximum availability and minimum costs. In addition, it should allow IT professionals to focus on processes/tasks that can bring added value to the organization’s business.
Solutions such as Cisco UCS Director, Red Hat Ansible or VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) were specifically designed to simplify all of this, enabling to manage, automate and orchestrate physical and virtual resources, networks and storage from a single location.
Discover 4 ways to optimize data center processes in your organization:
- Creation of workflows for tasks and processes automation. Creating workflows brings you several types of benefits: the guarantee that all processes are strictly followed in your data center; accurate and updated information on the state of the data center; and, ultimately, operations and processes optimization in the data center. We must not forget that data centers are complex structures and constantly evolving, undergoing daily interventions that add, remove, exchange, modify and even disable components. Therefore, workflows must be created to automatically perform tasks and processes that are critical for daily operations and essential to keep the data center safe and highly available, eliminating time-consuming, ineffective and error-prone manual work.
- Service catalog availability for users. A unified and consistent service catalog allows users to request and provision infrastructure resources and applications correctly and without waste. The service catalog must be on the automation layer, translating into logical and measurable services that are simple to request and manage. Important: this catalog can include a wide range of IT and non-IT services, allowing end-users to use them easily. The availability of these resources and/or applications may also be subject to an approval cycle, in order to ensure that users do not place requests that exceed the capacity of the infrastructure or to ensure that this resource and/or application is not provisioned at a given time. Another aspect to be taken into account in the service catalog is the modular features offered as an orchestration layer. In fact, what the reality shows is that resources are limited and that is why it is necessary to avoid that the company is stuck with a solution that cannot be sized according to the needs at any given moment, growing or decreasing in accordance with the dynamic requirements dictated by IT and the market. Just remember that the back-office is itself the target of a constant state of change, so the lack of control can result in performance problems for front-office applications. In extreme cases, this can lead to costly service failures and, as a result, frustrated users – who can be both your company’s employees and end customers.
- Provision of multi-tenant infrastructures. This is a good strategy if your company needs to carry out a logical separation of the infrastructure by several departments, managing to maintain total cost control. Through a data center with multi-tenant infrastructure, you can simply distribute different types of resources among the various tenants, whether they are a server or a certain logical amount of resources, or, only perform a separation in terms of security.
- Scalability of infrastructures. Nowadays companies are often faced with the need to increase their infrastructure, whether for a seasonal peak of workflows (for example the closing of the year) or to guarantee recovery from a disaster. The dilemma is always to acquire more resources for the infrastructure, or to adopt a different strategy and evolve to an “as a Service” model. Through orchestration and automation tools, it is possible to guarantee in a fully automated way that your organization’s service continues to operate within normal limits and in a totally transparent way, regardless of whether it is a peak of need or a recovery of a disaster. Thanks to these tools, these “extensions” of resources can operate either in another data center of your organization or of a partner, or in the public cloud, allowing total cost control and changing to a financial model based on Opex.
Workflow, Orchestration and Automation: the recipe for success
Using workflows, orchestration and automation is the key to optimizing data center processes, making it more agile, robust and consistent – and adapting it in step with your organization’s business needs for simplified operation, increased performance, security and high availability. However, the way to get there involves several fronts that need to be analyzed in order to find the perfect balance that leads to the best solution for each case.
To move forward, you should have a trusted partner to get the help and guidance you need according to your needs. This is a passionate topic about which there is much to say and talk about – and at Warpcom we will be happy to exchange some ideas with you. Our experienced and certified Data Center & Multi Cloud team works with the main players in this matter, including names like Red Hat, Cisco and VMware.
Get in touch with us and learn how to implement the best strategy to optimize the data center processes in your company.