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You don't need to carry the heavy load at your data center

Have you found running your datacenter applications a little… challenging, lately?

If you have a traditional on-premises datacenter, this post might shed some light on why – and what you can do to become competitive again.

IT has evolved quickly in the last few years. A bunch of great new ideas like multi-cloud and DevOps have come along. And vendors have made it as easy as possible for everyone to get on board – even when keeping your legacy servers and networks.

“No rip and replace!” “Start small and scale up!” Those are the approaches that help old data centers bring in modern ideas. Some are software-only, adding new capability to legacy networks. However, to really make the most of modern IT you need a true software-defined network (SDN).

So, you might use some public cloud services. You might have some software-defined infrastructure. You might be building containerized cloud apps. But you’re doing it with traditional infrastructure, which was really only designed for traditional, on-premises workloads. Your legacy network is trying to work like an SDN.

This is what makes things challenging. Having limited access to the cloud, management taking too much effort, getting no network ROI… We’re going to run through the challenges below and how to SDN can solve them. Here goes.

1. You aren’t as cloud-ready as you should be

There’s cloud, and then there’s cloud. Traditional data centers aren’t ready for hybrid-cloud, which integrates on-prem and cloud applications (and their data). Nor can they manage multi-cloud, which lets you use the best services from a range of cloud providers, but requires intelligent networking.

Many SDN solutions are designed for hybrid and multi-cloud. Cisco ACI, for example, has seamless solutions for Microsoft Azure, AWS, VMware and other leading providers. If you use the Microsoft cloud, ACI gives you:

  • Deployment in hours instead of weeks
  • 20% better efficiency thanks to policy automation
  • Unified management in a single dashboard

SDN also helps you use Kubernetes application containers, making applications simpler, faster and more efficient to deploy. And it all works out of the box, with easy configuration from a single pane.

2. Your data center is too needy

It takes a lot of effort to manage cloud apps and expanded networks in a traditional datacenter. You cannot template configurations, which means you need to manually redevelop network operations (which introduces the potential for human error). Because your network was designed for local traffic, you’re also unable to centralize management of your newly-global network.

SDN simplifies deployment and management. You can design global policies that apply to every application on the network, including…

  • Connectivity
  • Reliability
  • Compliance
  • Performance

That provides an architectural model you can re-use when scaling out the network. You can fine-grain as needed, but your IT teams never need to configure and manage individual devices. Everything is policy-driven, and when you update the global policy you update everything on the network in an instant.

Your team could manage your network 40x faster, and save 80% on current network costs.

3. Your network doesn’t give applications what they need

Applications need network resources to run. On a traditional on-prem network, maybe it was easy to allocate them. On a global network of cloud applications, where demand is dynamic and new apps are deployed often, allocating resources manually is totally impractical.

The network needs to step up and deliver resources dynamically, based on demand. With a software-defined network, application needs can drive network behavior – not the other way around.

4. You aren’t getting any ROI from your network

If you’re running a traditional data center, there’s a good chance it doesn’t support open APIs and it cannot integrate with 3rd-party products. That means you can’t utilize those things to develop modern, cloud-centric applications. You aren’t getting any value from it.

With SDN you can leverage open APIs, open standards and open source to modernize application development and operations. Your network helps you build and deploy value-adding software much faster.

5. Your cloud apps aren’t secure, so neither is your business

57% of businesses agree cloud applications are the most challenging area of security.

But how can a datacenter designed for on-premises applications protect data and workloads in the cloud? The answer is that it probably can’t. And when data isn’t secure, your business is also at risk.

The answer is application-centric security, delivered by application-centric infrastructure. Cisco ACI builds in threat protection and visibility that stick with your workloads wherever they go, even across multi-clouds. This new approach protects your business and reduces the huge amount of time you spend securing servers, data, and endpoints.

It’s time to modernize the data center

If your traditional data center has been struggling with jobs designed for modern, application-centric infrastructure, now you know why. But is modernizing really worth it?

If you’d like to find out, please reach out to us and GBM subject matter experts. We have several major SDN projects under our belt. There are over 30 Cisco SDN engineers in our team, and best of all we can demonstrate your SDN solutions at our Advance LAB facility before you make any commitment.

We are here to answer your questions, so feel free to get in touch. Traditional data centers can’t struggle on forever – so if you can improve application performance, efficiency and cloud-readiness now, why wait?

Authors:
Ali Sheeraz Mehdi, Technical Sales Manager – Networking Solutions | View profile
Muhammad Marakkoottathil, Regional SDN & DC Consultant | View profile

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