Old traditional IT was very rigid and fixed, which hampered an organisation’s ability to grow and was neither adaptive, nor scalable. Today, customers want their infrastructure to grow with them, and on demand.
So, what is core infrastructure? At the very heart of it, it is connectivity, or a core network, which acts as a high-speed interconnect for everything else. On top of that lies servers and storage, and because of the need for on-demand and expandability, we have seen the rise of what we call hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI).
A hyper-converged world
HCI can offer a company many benefits, not only simpler deployments and management, but better reliability, scalability, data protection, and resource utilisation too.
The modern data centre is also leaning towards what we call the software-defined data centre (SDDC). This still has hardware at its core, but the hardware itself does not decide the purpose.
It is the software-based profiles that will get pushed out and will decide the purpose of that hardware, whether it is file storage or object storage, for example. Again, SDDC is very workload-optimised, so it’s not a fit for every customer, but it is still a key element of modern infrastructure.
Breaking down siloes
Core infrastructure modernisation also breaks down siloes and eliminates the need for multiple experts to handle connectivity, compute, networking, and storage, and has fuelled a need for more generalist skills, as the management of everything is brought together under a single pane of glass.
In turn, HCI is helping today’s organisations become cloud ready. Cloud technologies can also form a part of the core infrastructure, and here, we need to consider which workloads are suited for the cloud, and then which type of cloud, be it public or private.
Here, it’s important to understand and analyse what the true costs are and how to quantify them. When modernising core infrastructure, we look at the different workloads and types of cloud, and how they can both be utilised to help the business meet its objectives.
Another highly critical element of core infrastructure in today’s world is cybersecurity. As businesses begin the journey to modernisation, they need to ensure this infrastructure is secure by design too.
Many tools and processes that worked on legacy IT are outdated and can cause security teams to burn out by carrying too heavy a burden of dealing with many onerous and repetitive tasks that could be automated.
In addition, security is also a catch-up game where cyber criminals are always a step ahead. For example, the industry never thought bad actors would attack a server before they went after the operating system, but they did. For this reason, many tier-one vendors have what we call a silicon root of trust, which means that security is built in from the ground up.
All about data
It is also important to remember, that although digital transformation is about moving to the cloud or becoming cloud-like (either private, public or hybrid), key to this on-demand enabler, is data. Data is absolutely essential to any business, so the digitisation of the organisation is also about how that business is able to mine its data to better serve its customers.
Being able to harness the data that is available to you to understand and make intelligent decisions from that data, is what leads to a better understanding of, and better relationship with, your customers.
A holistic approach
It is important, however, to approach each business individually. What is good for one business might not work for another. It all depends on the particular business’s requirements as well as the applications they run, the expectations they have, and suchlike.
At Tarsus Distribution, we know there is a solution for every customer, and we take a holistic approach, using all these building blocks that are essential to elastic, on-demand businesses. We look at the applications they are running, and the services they are delivering, to determine the size of what is required in the infrastructure.
We understand that modernisation also does not need to be a large capital outlay either. Many vendors are offering “As a Service” and managed solutions as well, which takes extra burden off the customer and works on an operational outlay, or subscription-based model which includes the hardware.
In this way, the primary goal is understanding the customer’s business, because once we do, we are in a better position to advise them on what they need to achieve their goals. We have tools available to run a thorough analysis of their current infrastructure and to get the performance metrics and other answers we need to then design a solution to fit their needs.
This will help them digitally transform, grow, keep up with the competition, be innovative and bring new products to market a lot faster.