Ted Streck – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services https://infocus.dellemc.com DELL EMC Global Services Blog Thu, 18 Apr 2019 17:47:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 The Death of the Data Center Is Greatly Exaggerated https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/the-death-of-the-data-center-is-greatly-exaggerated/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/the-death-of-the-data-center-is-greatly-exaggerated/#respond Mon, 15 Apr 2019 09:00:50 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37899 Every year… check that, it’s almost every day we hear something that says it will be the next best thing. Huge campaigns are created and flashy ads and commercials tout how it will eliminate the need for x or y. Now I could be talking about IT or the auto industry or any number of […]

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Every year… check that, it’s almost every day we hear something that says it will be the next best thing. Huge campaigns are created and flashy ads and commercials tout how it will eliminate the need for x or y. Now I could be talking about IT or the auto industry or any number of other industries. But for this blog, I will be using auto industry analogies to discuss the data center and the requirements for private enterprise data center ownership for the foreseeable future.

You may say, just one second there old timer, but bear with me. Even in Texas and Colorado where I split my time, ranchers still use horses when the automotive and ATV industry cannot fill the need. And much the same, we still have legacy mainframe, Unix and Windows, all which were supposed to have been end of life by the latest and greatest at some point in the last 20 years.

Zettabytes of Data Traffic

Now I am not saying there will not be a change in how we do business, but what I am saying is that the complex nature of the data center as we know it is going to continually increase, as digital business growth pumps more data through enterprise systems. And that makes for some interesting traffic on the information highway.

First, let’s explore this by examining some recent research. A data center study by AFCOM in 2016 had some interesting statistics:

  • Annual global IP traffic will reach 3.3 zettabytes by 2021
  • Global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next five years

You will find several other vendors out there who have predicted roughly the same or are using this same information. It’s true, most likely, and another thing that is predicted is the majority of that traffic will be generated by non-wired devices.

Enterprise Data Centers Becoming a Foundation for Many Cloud Services

We know non-wired devices will comprise most of the traffic just by looking at the statistics on social media accounts or the number of people staring at their smartphones. It’s tempting to think that with all this power in our pockets, is there still a need for back-end data systems?

At first glance, you could almost deduce that there is good reason to support the claim that data centers will go away, but no, it is just the opposite. Eventually all that information pumped to the devices has to be stored and processed somewhere. Your smartphone just doesn’t have that capacity… yet. Just like my local grocer can’t supply all its needs on its own, nor the local gas station; large truck loads of supplies arrive daily. Yes, there are local trucks and individual local providers but the analogy here is it takes a lot of different contributors and a huge, largely unseen supply chain to provide the whole experience.

How do I know this?

When there is an outage on Amazon, Facebook, your company’s web portal—you pick the medium—it doesn’t get blamed on the device in your hand. It was a data center, or component of, that failed somewhere.

Enterprise Data Center Investments on the Rise

Now you might say, yes, but with the rise of these public cloud providers, aren’t they the ones who are providing the back-end data centers instead of enterprise data centers?

Well, let’s look at a few more statistics from that AFCOM study:

  • 58% of the respondents owned between 2 and 9 data centers
  • 19% owned more than 10
  • Respondents also stated that roughly 5.3 of their data centers will be renovated
  • The 3-year forecast showed that they plan to increase number of data centers

This data suggests that enterprises are continuing to invest in their data centers and even increase them, instead of reducing them.

These are not small data centers either, with the study showing that 48% of respondents said they are between 5k and 50k square feet, and 16% said they were between 100k and 500k square feet. These same respondents were made up of entities who had their own facilities, used colocation data center providers and private and public cloud.

Private Cloud Keeps Growing

Let’s remember that private cloud is still in the enterprise data center. IDC predicts that private clouds will keep growing. While some of this growth comes as traditional application environments and are superseded by internal private clouds, these clouds also will support many new digital business applications.

Additionally, some workloads are being re-patriated from public to private clouds. How big is this trend? One analyst firm estimates that nearly 50% of all entities who have moved workloads to public clouds have made efforts to move workloads back to their enterprise data centers due to cost, security or latency.

Diverse Workloads are Here to Stay

Another twist to this plot is that some cloud providers, notably Amazon and Microsoft, have announced on-premises public cloud, which will increase capacity requirements of enterprise data centers. Even the public cloud providers find benefits from locating in enterprise data centers.

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that enterprise data centers will be around for a long time.  However, they will have a broader and more diverse set of workloads, including private and public clouds, as well as traditional systems.

To correlate the longevity of the enterprise data center to our automotive analogy, some entities have their own car, some rent, and some use other transport and ride-hailing services, such as Uber. Some have pickup trucks, and some have semis (owned or leased). However, this growing diversity in transport vehicles and consumption options has not resulted in fewer vehicles being sold nor in less traffic and congestion. There were some optimistic assumptions that the rapid rise of ride-hailing services would mean that private car ownership would decline or perhaps disappear altogether, but this hasn’t happened yet, even in some of the most tech-savvy and traffic-dense cities with a range of transport options.

Defying earlier predictions, Harvard Square continues to see growth in the number of cars despite 6 subway stations, and several lines and bike lanes. (Photo credit: Juliana DiLuca Photography)

A recent Boston Globe article cites the continued growth in automobiles in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the home of Harvard and MIT, defying earlier predictions, as the city continues to grow, despite having 6 subway stations, many bus lines and bike lanes. Interestingly, this growth in Cambridge is largely due to technology innovation in such industries as biotech and software. The point here is that just as no single transport model has emerged, neither will a single computing model by a panacea for IT organizations. Diverse enterprise data centers will increasingly continue to play a key role in multi-cloud strategies for most IT organizations.

Perhaps a better way to look at this is to think less about the physical location (enterprise data centers vs. public cloud) and more about how workloads are structured and consumed (physical or virtual assets tied to particular applications vs. public or private cloud services shared across multiple applications). I’ll explore this more in another, upcoming blog.

Is Data Center Investment Worth it?

With all the cloud talk, you might think that would mean a decline in data center investment. On the contrary, from a facilities standpoint, there’s a lot of new investment in data centers. According to a study by real estate firm CBRE, which was focused on tracking the investments of the actual buildings and facilities, 2017 was a banner year for US data center investments, with nearly $18.2 billion being spent. In most cases, the life span of a data center is typically 10 years at the top end.

A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Dell Technologies, focused on the data center infrastructure itself, analyzed how long it takes for the investments to pay off. Forrester concludes that the payback period of 3.5 years and benefits seen at the 5-year mark are worth the investment.

This still gives us a few years to watch this ever increasingly complex organism mature into what it started as many years ago, when the web exploded, and smart devices flooded the market. By the way, one of the reasons cited for this explosion in growth was the requirement to store data for self-driving cars.

Summary: The Data Center Isn’t Dead, it’s Becoming Repurposed and More Powerful

Will we continue to make advances in the data center space? Absolutely. Will that landscape change? Absolutely. Just like in the automotive space. But just like in the automotive space, new methods and technologies get added, but the base still stays. And so, it will be with data centers. After all, there are, according to the US government, nearly 3 million data centers in the US alone, so transitioning away from them would require a massive shift that will take years.

By any reckoning, enterprise data centers are here to stay. As Mark Twain famously quipped, reports of his death have been greatly exaggerated. So, treat reports of the death of the data center with similar caution.

To learn more about our perspectives on Data Center services and how we address these challenges, including whitepapers, descriptions of our tools and services, visit our website here.

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Insights into Integrating Cloud Ops, IT Ops and AppDev https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/insights-into-integrating-cloud-ops-it-ops-and-appdev/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/insights-into-integrating-cloud-ops-it-ops-and-appdev/#respond Fri, 12 Apr 2019 09:00:46 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=38099 It’s like a DVD stuck on replay. For years we have existed in an environment where the IT landscape is constantly evolving, but somehow the theme stays the same. Every year, sometimes more frequently, new technologies and new demands are added to the already existing overtaxed and crowded IT environments. With each new addition, IT […]

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It’s like a DVD stuck on replay. For years we have existed in an environment where the IT landscape is constantly evolving, but somehow the theme stays the same. Every year, sometimes more frequently, new technologies and new demands are added to the already existing overtaxed and crowded IT environments.

With each new addition, IT and business teams around the world are being asked to address emerging technologies. Some of these asks are converged environments, infrastructure services, SaaS solutions, CaaS/PaaS platforms, infrastructure as code, APIs, Office 365, on-prem, off-prem and more. End users are demanding services faster than ever before in the most complex environment to date. Some of the technologies are retired or re-platformed, but not all. Day to day business must continue running.

How can you effectively manage it all?

With a top-down service-based approach to consuming cloud services. There may have been a time when it seemed that the environment was well-managed, easier to provision, and not in a high state of flux. One may well wonder if they can ever get back to that, and the answer is yes, but it will take time, patience, and a well thought out and documented plan. Although we may not remember it, we had to apply thought and change in those times when it seemed more manageable.

Re-engineer IT

If one is to learn from history, they should remember that they started by developing new teams to address areas that were new or had matured to a new level of function.

Those wishing to change could start with a cloud and IT infrastructure operations team. This team would, in collaboration with the business’ development teams, focus on configuring, upgrading, scaling, and operating in the infrastructure. They would design, manage, maintain and support the cloud environment. And they would build or document and expose infrastructure APIs.

But does that mean we can jump right in and start from there?

Certainly not. We will need to make sure that the connection between legacy and the new or future environment is well understood and documented. The move to cloud has been a long journey (over 10 years now). The reason is that in general those who moved or tried to move to the cloud have either made too broad of assumptions or did not fully understand the environments of the workloads being moved. Since they have already decided that configuration will be a part of the new cloud and infrastructure team, they need to make sure they understand the current configuration. This gives them the insight needed to upgrade the current environment or whether its current configuration will be valid in the cloud environment.

Additionally, will the configuration scale to the levels needed? Or is it already too large and need to be adjusted to be more efficient and cost effective?

If it’s a public cloud this is important because cost will be a major consideration. If its private, the teams will want to make sure they are using those resources better than in the previous environment.

Managing the New Environment

The management of the new environment and its capabilities will be governed by whether it is a public or private cloud environment. It will entail much more thought and process creation in the private cloud world for these areas. This is because there is much more control on the clients’ part in a private cloud world. What this does point out is that a good deal of thought needs to be put toward understanding what is needed in the way of insight into public cloud providers and how those contracts are managed.

Once an infrastructure is in place and could start to support the services required, the provisioning aspects and development management processes must be defined. Especially around the APIs the resources will be utilizing. This is often one of the most difficult and time-consuming areas of transformation. The number and different locations/owners of those API’s can become a full-time job if they are not addressed early in the re-engineering process.

New teams for this environment will need to focus on application development for (PaaS/CaaS) platforms. This team would focus on same elements of configuration, upgrades, scaling and operations but for the applications platform. The team would also be responsible for building and exposing APIs that support software development needs as discussed earlier. Like the cloud and IT infrastructure group the same considerations will need to be in place as it relates to understanding and documenting the current environment, to define and document a more efficient and responsive XaaS environment.

Shared Operations

For other operations, including service management and automation, they naturally become shared responsibilities that work well together if the infrastructure groups as well as the application development team align early and build a common plan for configuration, management, maintenance, etc. The synergies gained by teaming early will continue to pay off as they mature in their transformation and pursuit of the next generation of technologies and services.


Attending Dell Technologies World?

Join us at Dell Technologies World on Tuesday May April 30th at 12:00 pm in the session “Insights into Integrating Cloud Ops, IT Ops and AppDev” to walk through three scenarios and learn about new processes, new roles, and new ways of working that break down silos and integrate Cloud/IT operations, development platform operations, service management and application development.

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[Recorded Webinar] Data Center Modernization and Migration Services Deliver 81% ROI https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/dell-emc-data-center-modernization-and-migration-deliver-81-roi/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/dell-emc-data-center-modernization-and-migration-deliver-81-roi/#comments Thu, 12 Oct 2017 15:03:41 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=32867 Dell EMC commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study and examine the potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realize by leveraging the company’s Data Center Modernization and Migration Services. The study includes detailed research, analysis, and discussions with Dell EMC customers, revealing exciting information on actual results and benefits. Join […]

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Dell EMC commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study and examine the potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realize by leveraging the company’s Data Center Modernization and Migration Services. The study includes detailed research, analysis, and discussions with Dell EMC customers, revealing exciting information on actual results and benefits.

Join our webinar, featuring Jon Erickson, a Vice President with Forrester Consulting, who will lead a conversation about the benefits and costs associated with your investment to help you understand the ROI an organization could achieve. Dell EMC’s Ted Streck, Global Discipline Lead for Data Center Modernization, provides additional details about the application-centric, patented methodology for data center modernization and migration used to optimize your data center environments.

Recorded Online [October 26, 2:00 PM EST]

Password: DellEMC

Presented by Jon Erickson, Forrester Research and Ted Streck, Dell EMC
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To read the full report, and view the infographic related to this study please view Data Center Consolidation for a Multi-Cloud Era: Forrester Quantifies the Impact

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Data Center Consolidation for a Multi-Cloud Era: Forrester Quantifies the Impact https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/data-center-consolidation-multi-cloud-forrester/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/data-center-consolidation-multi-cloud-forrester/#respond Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:00:38 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=32817 In today’s multi-cloud world, IT infrastructure executives and architects are positioning their data centers to be competitive in cost and agility with major cloud providers.  However, these multi-cloud infrastructure strategies are often impaired by outdated data center infrastructure, uncompetitive facilities, and legacy operational processes.  Dell EMC Services consultants are working with clients around the world […]

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In today’s multi-cloud world, IT infrastructure executives and architects are positioning their data centers to be competitive in cost and agility with major cloud providers.  However, these multi-cloud infrastructure strategies are often impaired by outdated data center infrastructure, uncompetitive facilities, and legacy operational processes.  Dell EMC Services consultants are working with clients around the world to drive data center modernization initiatives that result in lower operating costs, faster operational processes and more robust infrastructure and quickly realize their multi-cloud infrastructure strategy.

tei_cover

Full Report

Such data center transformation initiatives are time and resource-intensive, and some IT executives wonder how much of a benefit to expect.  We recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to utilize their Total Economic Impact methodology to thoroughly study these costs and benefits, and the newly-published study, The Total Economic Impact™ of Dell EMC Data Center Modernization and Migration Services, provides strong evidence of substantial cost savings, even when compared against internal efforts to modernize data centers.

In this InFocus blog post, I’ll provide a high-level summary of Forrester’s findings and analysis. In upcoming blog posts, I’ll explain more about the quantitative results in the Forrester report and outline some of the qualitative benefits that Forrester reports.

Forrester Finds Enterprises Save Millions with Dell EMC Approach

dellemc-economic-impact-datacenter-modernization-infographic

Infographic

Forrester determined that Dell EMC data center modernization and migration services delivered an optimized transformation of IT operations as disparate data centers are transformed into modern, standardized data centers.  In addition, Dell EMC’s rigorous planning and robust toolsets provided a faster time to completion.  Quantitatively, Forrester’s financial model shows that a Dell EMC data center modernization initiative provides a savings of $4m, with payback in 3.5 years, just 6 months after typical project completion, with a return on investment of 81%.

 

(Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, The Total Economic Impact™ of Dell EMC Data Center Modernization and Migration Services, July 2017)

How did Forrester come up with these impressive figures?  First, they interviewed Dell EMC services clients to understand the benefits they realized by choosing Dell EMC data center modernization services.  These clients vary in size, are from a range of industries, and are in different parts of the world, to minimize any bias in selection.  Based on this information, Forrester creates a composite organization and financial model. Forrester’s composite organization is a global company with $20b in annual revenue, and 24,000 employees. From an IT standpoint, they have 12 data centers with inconsistent operating processes.

Forrester then compared the costs and benefits of a data center modernization and consolidation program led by Dell EMC Services vs. managing the project in-house.

Dell EMC Approach Cuts Years Off Program, Accelerating Savings

They found that the program led by Dell EMC could accelerate the consolidation, cutting the duration nearly in half when compared with an in-house program, from 5 years to 3 years.  The reason this is so significant is that it means that the operating cost benefits are realized more quickly.  In the hundreds of transformation and consolidation programs which Dell EMC Services has led we have also leveraged the consolidation to implement operational automation to make more robust and quickly executed operational processes, as well as accelerate server virtualization.  These efforts not only improve the speed and lower the risk of the consolidation program, but enable a lower operating cost profile after the consolidation effort is complete.  Finally, a Dell EMC program saves the costs of paying extra staff to assist for an internally managed program. These operational cost savings are so significant that they more than offset the costs of hiring Dell EMC to run the program.

(Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, The Total Economic Impact™ of Dell EMC Data Center Modernization and Migration Services, July 2017)

In addition to these quantifiable benefits, Forrester finds important qualitative benefits with the Dell EMC approach.  Because data center consolidation efforts are so significant, with many things changing in the environment, risks of an unplanned outage and service disruption can increase.  Dell EMC Services minimizes this risk through careful planning of migration events to simultaneously migrate interdependent applications and data.  Another qualitative benefit is the increased agility from more effective automation of operational processes, which makes IT more responsive to application and business stakeholders.  Finally, IT organizations gain greater confidence from the business when they show that they can execute such a far-reaching program effectively.

Want to know more? Attend our upcoming Webcast:

Dell EMC Data Center Modernization and Migration Services Deliver 81% ROI

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Accelerating Consolidation of the Modern Data Center https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/accelerating-consolidation-modern-data-center/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/accelerating-consolidation-modern-data-center/#respond Tue, 19 Apr 2016 12:00:52 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=27026 In an area of change, some things have not changed for a while.  IT organizations are continuing to search for ways to reduce costs, foster innovation, increase agility, and operate more efficiently. There is constant pressure from the business for IT to find a way to meet these objectives, and in the midst of the […]

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In an area of change, some things have not changed for a while.  IT organizations are continuing to search for ways to reduce costs, foster innovation, increase agility, and operate more efficiently. There is constant pressure from the business for IT to find a way to meet these objectives, and in the midst of the hybrid cloud era, a lot of organizations are finding that their aging architectures may be hindering their ability to do so.

So where do many IT organizations turn first to achieve transformation and meet the demands of the business?

Well, the answer is their data centers.

Data centers serve as critical starting points for holistic transformation or modernization initiatives. Whether it is adopting cloud, converged, or virtual architectures or refreshing existing infrastructure, many organizations are now taking a look to their data center strategies to achieve this modernization.

Traditionally, data center consolidation or migration events were taken as a means through which to meet facilities related objectives, such as an expiring lease, the need to lower power and cooling costs, capacity issues, or the result of a merger/acquisition. While these use cases are still present, we now see more companies taking on these events as an opportunity to transform to a more efficient and agile infrastructure.

But these projects are not simple undertakings. It’s not all about just backing up the truck and unloading some new data center equipment. These initiatives are very complex and risky to plan and execute, with success hinging heavily upon a solid strategy and plan based on knowledge of the existing environment. These projects require a full understanding of all interdependencies in the environment, between assets, applications, storage, and servers. Lastly the correlation of all these components to the business needs and schedules has to be fully understood.  All of this information needs to be gathered and analyzed in order to determine optimal transition plans, facility configurations, migration methods, schedules, move groups, and so on.

So how do you determine interdependencies between the integrated assets in your environment? This is where automated tools come into play. EMC has been executing data center consolidation, migration, and modernization engagements for close to two decades. Historically, we utilized manual processes and spreadsheets to do much of the discovery work. Now, we utilize an automation tool that has enabled us to shorten the discovery phase by 50% or better in most cases. It also enables us to eliminate close to 98% of human error and virtually eradicate sequence errors.

The use of automated tools in conjunction with EMC’s already robust and patented migration methodology put us ahead of the data center game. We are able to provide real-time updating and management of the environment through automation, which increases staff efficiency and collaboration. We are able to execute migrations with the lowest risk and greatest efficiency possible.

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