Evolution of the data center

Evolution of the data center

Next-generation data centers deliver the agility and simplicity of the public cloud with the security and control of on-premises systems.

As cloud solutions and services continue their rapid ascent in the enterprise world, becoming mainstays of business agility and efficiency, it’s fair to question the impact on traditional data centers and those who manage them. Are on-premises systems and specialists losing a measure of relevance?

Not remotely. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

“There has been an explosion of applications, devices, and endpoints that need to be secured and managed. Organizations must optimize the utilization of on-premises, private, and public cloud infrastructure; after all, hybrid is the new black. And countless companies are digitizing their operations,” says Dhritiman Dasgupta, vice president of data center marketing at Cisco. “All of that starts with a next-generation data center.”

The roots of data center modernization, he adds, were sprouted in the cloud.

“The cloud is not a place, it’s a paradigm,” Dasgupta notes. “It opened up everyone’s eyes about the possibilities for greater agility, automation, efficiency, and simplicity. And those attributes have been pulled into the data center.”

What used to be a fortified castle safeguarding an organization’s crown jewels has become a hub of business activity, an orchestration engine that connects and protects a company in a dynamic, global marketplace.

“Data centers still possess the crown jewels, but they have become more open and connected,” says Lisa Spelman, vice president and general manager of Intel® Xeon® products and data center marketing at Intel. “They are no longer operating behind the scenes as a support mechanism, but rather as a frontline driver of business productivity and transformation.”

The importance of policy

As modern data centers facilitate diverse and dispersed business activities, seamless orchestration, stout security, and consistent governance are essential.  

"You need simplification, automation, protection, and analytics," says Dasgupta. “Cisco is the only vendor that can deliver all of these attributes through a common, consistent policy model.”

  • With so many environments, components, systems, and languages, a common thread is needed throughout them.
  • That thread is application policy, which acts as a Rosetta Stone for managing a heterogeneous, distributed infrastructure spanning multiple data center and cloud locations.

“Policy is the single source of truth across all environments and elements,” Dasgupta explains. “It reflects the intent of the business, controls applications, and automates the delivery of hybrid infrastructure.”

Cisco and Intel have worked together for years to develop, integrate, and optimize foundational technologies that enable business flexibility and efficiency without compromising IT performance, security, or governance. The combination of the Intel Xeon processor-based Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS®) and Cisco® Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI), in particular, provides the underpinnings of a policy-based, next-generation data center. One that delivers the agility and simplicity of the public cloud with the security and control of on-premises systems. One that is more important—and more attainable—than ever.

“The time is now,” says Spelman. “There has never been a better opportunity to move up the value chain and transition from a service department to a strategic driver of business success. The longer you are stuck in ‘analysis paralysis’ mode, the harder it will be to catch up."

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