Change is the one constant in our lives and the current situation we face is just one of the many proof points for this. It underlines the need for IT to be as agile as possible, to be able to react quickly to any challenge thrown their way. This agility needs to be pervasive throughout the whole IT organisation and the systems and platforms it manages.
It's key that IT has a good handle on and knowledge of foundational infrastructure platforms such as VMware vSphere, vRealize and/or Cloud Foundation. In today's busy world with many demands, it isn't always easy to do much more than keep the lights on. This often isn't helped by the fact that capacity planning can be fraught with its own challenges as no one possess a 'crystal ball' to help us correctly predict and plan for future demand.
Cloud, Hybrid and On-Prem
Organisations are looking for solutions to the challenges listed above and it is fair to say that this has driven a lot of them to adopt a 'Cloud First' strategy to address:
- Increased agility through Elasticity; scaling up and down easily and quickly to reduce time to market
- Better financial control through the Pay-As-You-Go Cloud paradigm; move from capital expenditure to operational expenditure and only pay for what you actually use
However, for various reasons, some organisations need to retain the ability to process data on their own premises. In this situation, they may adopt a hybrid strategy to benefit from both models. Yet others still need to operate completely on premise.
Cloud Native Apps
In recent years, the development and management of so-called Cloud Native Apps has come to the fore. With it come new methodologies such as Agile and practices such as DevOps and DevSecOps. In addition, Cloud Native Apps introduces new Software and Infrastructure Architectures such as micro-services and containerisation. This significant shift is in some ways comparable to the change from physical to virtual in the data centre that we saw many years ago. IT will need to contend with and have answers to these new developments.
Time Is Money
Regardless of the chosen model, it is important to ensure that the chosen platform can be managed holistically and with as little effort as possible. You also want the platform to be as integrated as possible, with concepts such as automation and self-healing 'baked-into' the platform. This will then allow IT to free up valuable time that would otherwise be tied up with remedial activities that do not directly produce value but rather increase the cost of doing business.
The key challenge faced by IT teams is without a doubt the increasingly elaborate attacks on our IT environments by either criminal organisations or state-sponsored entities. Whether malware, ransomware, industrial espionage or outright theft of IP. We need smarter ways of protecting, detecting and preventing these issues from becoming a liability for our businesses, whilst not excessively increasing the burden of the management on IT and the business as a whole.
Assess and Plan
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”, as the famous quote goes. Ultima has developed a VMware Data Centre Workshop that can help companies review and assess their current VMware estate and ascertain how VMware's Software-Defined Data Centre technologies can help address the challenges highlighted above and streamline processes with automation to reduce effort and cost, whilst protecting data in a secure and agile environment.
The engagement is executed on a 'fixed' price basis and consists of a Ultima's tried and true 3-phase assessment approach:
The engagement consists of a Core module and one Optional extra module.
- Evaluate and optimise the existing vSphere Solution
- Identify gaps between current design and target modernised data centre
- Provide a list of recommendations to be implemented
- Evaluate your complete hardware and software stack for Data Centre Modernisation
- Evaluate how to enhance the security posture of your current VMware environment
- Evaluate how to improve DR to meet RTO/RPO requirements and/or to streamline processes to test or build a platform for DR
- Evaluate how the VMware environment can support DevOps and/or DevSecOps initiatives by creating CI/CD pipelines
The Core and Optional modules are supported by automated information gathering in your environment augmented with Workshops.
The key benefits for the customer are:
- Gain greater visibility of the infrastructure components for capacity and performance
- Understand the current market data centre technology trends
- Gain advice for an optional area of interest and defined next steps
The following sample report is an output from the Core module:
The above notwithstanding, for those customers that have already taken the first step but would like help in shaping what the next steps should look like, feel free to talk to us about engaging our Consultants to help guide, architect, build and/or augment your staff to realise your goals more quickly and efficiently.
Written by Serge Meeuwsen, Solutions Architect