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Predictions for 2015: Rise of the Work-Load Centric Data Centre

By Chris James, EMEA marketing director, Virtual Instruments
This is a Press Release edited by StorageNewsletter.com on 2014.12.09

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Predictions for 2015: the Rise of the Work-load Centric Data Centre
 untitled This article was written Chris James, EMEA marketing director, Virtual Instruments
 
Rapid technological advances and marketplace shifts are causing game-changing influences affecting enterprise IT infrastructure. Our work with customers, partners and analysts across a variety of vertical industries has provided valuable insight into new industry direction. Indications for the upcoming year point to some emerging trends that will impact heavily on CIOs' strategic planning and critical decision making, throwing up new challenges in the vital role IT plays in support of the business in maintaining continuity and success.
 
1. The multi-layered data centre
As the demand to access data anytime anywhere rises, we will see an increased pressure on the IT infrastructure to cope with increasing work-loads and efficiently manage issues arising from consolidation, maintenance and under performance. IT decision makers will stand by their decision to focus on virtualisation, cloud migration and software-defined technologies to aim for more agile infrastructures and to yield maximum benefit from their current applications and resources.
 
This has resulted in a highly complex, multi-vendor, multi-layered environment that is constantly in flux. Despite the benefits seen by vendors, for the end user convergence also results in a highly complex infrastructure with increased vulnerability to problems and component failures. While virtualisation is essential to efficiency, it adds an extra layer of risk and complexity, causing additional planning and provisioning. The old behaviour of overprovisioning and throwing more capacity at the storage infrastructure to try to maintain performance is no longer cost effective.
 
In 2015, understanding what is really going on deep down in this layered system is being given more priority through deployment of new tools to gain the required visibility. In fact, a recent survey of European IT decision makers revealed that the majority of CIOs and IT managers lack the technical capabilities to administer infrastructure performance management across their data centres.*
 
2. Work-load centric approach
For the cloud and software-defined data centre, 2015 will be the year of the transition towards a work-load centric approach. This is about understanding the application work-load, its predictability, requirements and how it impacts on the overall performance of the IT infrastructure. It's not just about anytime access of large volumes of data; there must also be a way of sorting and sharing it appropriately across silos in a manner that's relevant to work patterns and supports the business.
 
In the new year there will be more consideration given to the various work-load functions when it comes to making decisions about what goes in the cloud. The cloud will not become the repository for all data and all applications, as in reality many critical functions will remain on premise, while user-facing applications for example will be more appropriate for a migration.

"What work-load systems are suitable to a converged infrastructure?" and "How can I best take advantage of new developments private or hybrid cloud to be able to access my data?" are the right type of questions to be asking as the drivers towards a more dynamic infrastructure in 2015. We see the work-load centric approach as the next wave for IT managers in successfully developing, deploying and proactively managing their infrastructure strategy.
 
3. Increasingly stringent regulations
Throughout 2015 SLAs will remain a key element of any contract irrespective of where the data and/or applications reside, and will in fact become more defined and stringent.
 
Conversations about regulations and how to meet them will be on the increase. Vertical markets such as healthcare, finance and government will be hit first to ensure they regulate their IT systems to guarantee mission-critical work-loads and will be required to demonstrate their failsafe capabilities.
 
4. Tackling BC challenges: Infrastructure Performance Management (IPM)
In 2015 we will see some major changes in how people manage their complex infrastructure performance. Major outages are no longer acceptable; BC and DR solutions will not be enough.
 
Traditional 'machine based' practices will fail to compete with new IPM capabilities. IPM embraces end-to-end 'wire', work-load or application based monitoring as opposed to device-specific levels and therefore offers greater visibility across the board.  It provides SAN-wide intelligence on performance issues, along with better utilisation and cost savings. From the CIO European survey* we found that 70%  of respondents believe IPM can reduce the risks of IT failures within their businesses, while 59%  agree that it can reduce the costs of running their IT departments.
 
End-to-end visibility will be in greater demand, as customers realise this will enable them to manage their user experience and infrastructure availability more efficiently. In fact a staggering 86%  of respondents* agreed that an IPM solution can help improve the IT department's performance in terms of meeting the needs of the business.
 
In light of these trends, the need to have better control and understanding of the data centre will become ever more important in assuring mission-critical support of the business. As a unified performance management approach becomes increasingly recognised as an across-the-board solution, more organisations will make the leap towards achieving optimum functioning, dynamic IT infrastructures.
 
* The survey was conducted by Virtual Instrument in November 2014 to provide a snapshot of organisations' ability to monitor the performance and health of their IT infrastructures.

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