Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Why you need to embrace automation in your data centre

September 4, 2017

The world of enterprise IT is changing rapidly. The impact of this change extends far beyond the confines of the data centre. Agile software development, DevOps and evolving cloud consumption models are today shaping the way in which IT services will be delivered in the future. They also call for new processes and skills.

There are two key reasons why automating in your data centre will be vital to managing the rapid evolution we’re seeing in IT and keeping your competitive advantage in the digital economy:

  • Silos in your data centre – Traditional data centre design only partially fulfils the needs of modern enterprise IT. The full stack of network, server, storage and virtualisation includes many management points. They are typically operated using different management tools, and often by different teams. The result is that as much as 77 percent of your administrative costs go to deployment, monitoring, updating and troubleshooting – not to activities that add new value to your business.
  • Static IT budgets – Workloads are growing by 26% annually, while IT Budgets are expected to remain static. In order to address this paradox, IT leaders need automation to reduce the time their teams spend on manual, repetitive tasks.

Bring IT together

Converged or hyperconverged platforms provide the first step in addressing the mismatch between legacy IT infrastructure and the need for greater speed, efficiency and agility. These technologies fuse compute and storage (converged), or compute, storage and network (hyperconverged) into a single appliance. One that comes pre-configured, tested and supported end-to-end.

What’s more, with the right platform in place, it’s possible to deliver the majority of your core IT infrastructure through a single management tool with point-and-click simplicity.

Cisco launched the world’s first in 2009. Based on standard x86 technology, UCS was, and still is a recognised game-changer. It’s one that significant others have yet to replicate successfully. But we didn’t stop at UCS. We’ve continued to innovate in the form of HyperFlex. The next generation of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) built on UCS and the only complete HCI system available today.

UCS makes modernising and automating your data centre simple. It comes with comprehensive infrastructure management and orchestration capabilities that reduce costs and help transform your business.

The latest version of Cisco UCS Director (UCSD) for example, delivers a dramatic reduction in the number of different management points in the overall stack. It will not only reduce complexity, but also improve time to market. You can roll out new workloads quickly and flexibly through a self-service portal – irrespective of whether you are provisioning on physical or virtual (hypervisor) infrastructure.

More use cases with UCSD 6.5

The latest releae of UCSD (version 6.5) features a self-service portal and guarantees high-performance from your infrastructure, with the user interface for admin programmed in HTML 5. What’s more, it not only enables you to manage basic infrastructure tasks, but also advanced use cases such as native Powershell integration, data center-wide vMotion automation and much more.

A good analogy we use is to think of how a head chef works at a restaurant. They combine all of the necessary ingredients, in the right measure, to serve the perfect meal. But as a head chef, they don’t prepare each and every meal, rather they orchestrate a menu that their cooks follow to satisfy hungry customers (watch our video to see what we mean).

With the digital economy in full swing and the arrival of cloud-native and big data applications, automation for applications such as Hadoop and big data workloads is essential. Cisco UCS Director Express for Bigdata 3.5 supports all major Hadoop and big data applications such as Cloudera, MapR, Hormonworks and Splunk, as well as Apache Kafka and Apache Spark.

Stay tuned for more…

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