Business and IT leaders in Hong Kong have been prioritizing investments in technologies like cloud, networking, storage, and data centers to transform their businesses. However, many are facing the challenge of legacy IT environment, which lacks the agility and compatibility to adopt emerging technologies. This is when software-defined datacenter come into play.
How ready are you to virtualize all elements of the data center? Are you ready to embrace IT-as-a-service (ITaaS) to meet digital challenges? Before business and IT leaders begin their business transformation journey, it is important to understand software-defined data center and how it could help in transformation.
Hyperscale architecture responds to business needs
Software-defined data center can enable a hyperscale architecture, which has the ability to scale appropriately as increased demand is added to the system. Compared to traditional datacenter, hyperscale architecture prioritizes cost, density and lowers total cost of ownership (TCO) according to business needs. This makes it a better option for enterprises that require scalability and flexibility to respond faster to business needs.
Although hyperscale architecture is often seen to benefit mainly multinational corporations that operate in markets with varied IT capability, Hong Kong enterprises from various industries and with different sizes can also be benefited. Industries like banking and finance, education, logistics, and the fast-moving consumer goods sector all require to handle sudden influx of workloads at different stages of their business cycles. Hyperscale
RSD as the core of software-defined data center
Intel’s rack scale design (RSD) is a hardware design framework for secure management of scalable platform hardware in a modern datacenter. It is the core of building a software-defined data center because it allows the customization of hardware and software. Such customization enables IT executives to build a more flexible and responsive data center to meet different business requirements.
RSD’s modular approach empowers businesses to compose their IT hardware needs from varying pools of IT resources. It also simplifies advanced technology to accelerate adoption of open, interoperable solutions of hyperscale datacenters.
Enterprises can purchase the exact computational, storage and networking components that suit current business needs and when necessary, to service additional workloads by stacking the “building blocks”.
Software binds the components
To allow IT executives to manage and orchestrate hardware on demand in hyperscale datacenters, software is the key. Software plays two important roles, one is to manage the hardware and the other is to orchestrate the workloads.
With increasing adoption of the hyperscale data center, there is a growing appetite for solutions that enable enterprises to manage and orchestrate their hardware and software easily in order to meet business demands.
RSD-enabled hardware can be managed by leading edge, open source system management software (like SMASH or Redfish). The software allows IT executives to manage all of the hardware building blocks, allowing them to use hardware from multiple vendors and eliminating compatibility issues.
At a higher level, RSD also acts as an umbrella to provide a single, common interface for IT managers to manage the workload, using their preferred orchestration platform to manage physical hardware and software layers. RSD components will provide a single common interface for customers to manage their environment using “building blocks” of their choice.
A number of IT hardware vendors, including Lenovo and its partners, have been working closely to develop new capabilities around RSD. This new architecture of customizable data center tailored to workload needs is exactly what software-defined data center means.
More enterprises from Hong Kong and around the world are gaining knowledge about software-defined data center and considering the feasibility to adopt it to enhance operational efficiency and address business needs. 2017 is expected to be a very exciting year for the development of software-defined data center.
Ted Chen is general manager of Lenovo Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau