Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Slay your IT dragons and make things simple

April 23, 2018

The phrase ‘slaying your dragons’ is one that resonates with many people because it means overcoming fear and adversity. If you are charged with managing your organisation’s computing infrastructure, there are likely several ‘dragons’ you face daily:

  • The constantly-evolving threat landscape and the need to protect your apps, data, and users
  • Lack of visbility due to the ‘silos’ of technology that exist across your IT environment
  • Unreliable network performance as traffic patterns fluctuate and data volumes spiral

These dragons make it hard for you to deliver the kind of application experience your consumers demand.

Legacy IT infrastructures were conceived way before the brave new world of cloud native apps and digital transformation. Blending the old with the new while keeping the lights on has seen IT get more complex.

Complexity is the number one killer of agility, efficiency, and security – the 3 things businesses crave most in today’s digital economy.

Come closer

The way apps are built today calls for close proximity of compute and storage resources that are managed using software.

Converged and hyperconverged platforms provide the first step in bridging the gap. Crucially, they make IT simpler, much faster and more responsive.

For example, world-famous luxury department store Liberty London, slayed one of its IT dragons (poor performance) by deploying hyperconverged infrastructure to achieve agility and flexibility in what has always been a fast-paced industry.

The retailer’s systems were struggling to support its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), but a next-gen hyperconverged platform has made a huge difference. Users are now able to log in within 30 seconds on average. It was taking up to 30 minutes on its legacy infrastructure.

Digby Brown Solicitors, Scotland’s largest personal injury firm, is another UK company to slay its IT dragon. With digital transformation well underway, an ageing infrastructure and complex application base was holding it back. The firm invested in hyperconverged because it’s much simpler to manage and much more dependable, reliable and scalable.

In the words of Digby Brown Solicitors’ Director of IT, Graeme Agnew: “We want to spend a lot more time focused on business outcomes.”

Software magic

Companies like Liberty London and Digby Brown Solicitors prove that with the right platform in place, it’s possible to deliver the majority of your core IT infrastructure through systems that operate as a whole and managed and controlled by software.

Cisco HyperFlex Systems are engineered on software-defined computing in the form of Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). Designed from the outset as programmable infrastructure, UCS is a full stack of data centre technologies combined into pre-engineered, tested and supported systems.

From the software embedded in the custom ASICs of our Virtual Interface Cards, through the UCS Management software embedded in the system, to the orchestration software in Cisco Intersight, it’s software that creates the magic of UCS: fully abstracted and truly software-defined infrastructure.

HyperFlex has made life a lot easier for our end users:

  • With just a few clicks, you can deploy the entire solution in less than an hour.
  • Scale your computing, storage, and caching resources so that they adapt to fit your specific resource needs.
  • No more network tuning to make it all work. It’s done automatically. Ready for more applications, with all the horsepower you need.

It also makes things more secure:

  • With legendary Cisco networking capabilities, HyperFlex includes built-in fabric interconnects (FIs) to provide low-latency, high-bandwidth, 10-Gbps connectivity for all system components.
  • Microsegmentation delivers high security and isolation within a single set of cables. Every connection in the cluster is treated as its own microsegment, with the same level of security as if it were supported with a separate physical link. This makes the integrated network more secure than when commodity approaches are used.
  • Internal communication between agents, production IP traffic, and management connectivity – all with secure isolation between logical networks.

Be an IT legend

The slaying of a dragon is the one story that most people recall when thinking about St George. Historians agree that St George never stepped foot on English soil. Yet King Edward III made him Patron Saint of England in the 14th century when he formed the Order of the Garter (England’s order of knights) because he’d been inspired by the stories of St George’s bravery by knights returning from the crusades.

St George is also the Patron Saint for the Scouts. He is referenced by the movements’ founder Baden-Powell in his book Scouting for Boys: “All Scouts should know his story. St. George was typical of what a Scout should be. When he was faced by a difficulty or danger, however great it appeared, even in the shape of a dragon – he did not avoid it or fear it but went at it with all the power he could…”

Whether you’re a fan of St George’s Day or not, you can be your company’s go-to knight, riding atop a trusty steed (think Vespa with the horsepower of a Ferrari) and giving your consumers the flexibility to run any traditional or cloud-native application across any environment.

With containers and hyperconvergence featuring high on the agenda for businesses wanting to deliver a standout app experience, be sure to check out our new live webinar series running through May and June 2020.

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