***Originally posted as an eBook. Please find here: https://secure.docurated.com/u/FhFBcQixdeSv
The Promises of Next-Gen Data Centers
“To speed the delivery of IT-enabled services to the business, enterprises are transforming data centers into pools of dynamically allocatable compute, storage and networking resources, referred to as the software-defined data center (SDDC).” – Gartner
Next-generation data centers are the future. They allow IT, professionals, to seamlessly consolidate, virtualize, and migrate workloads to the private, public or hybrid cloud. The next-generation data center delivers on the promise of increased agility, improved productivity and reduced costs.
Innovation Within the Data Center
Next-generation data centers promise a lot of things- increased agility, productivity, faster time-to-service, and scale for its customers. Virtualized and cloud environments and software-defined networks empower organizations to grow beyond the hardware sitting in a server room.
Imagine a data center that is so intelligent, it’s actually alive. It fundamentally allows applications to be deployed. It allows services to be scaled up and down, based on demand, policy and attack profiles. It’s a data center that is so in tune with your business needs that it requires very little human intervention- making it incredibly agile.
This would be a remarkable thing. But before you can truly realize the value of a next-generation data center, there are a number of challenges that must be addressed.
The Network Is A Critical Component of Next-Generation Data Center Initiatives
The network is an often ignored but critical component, to successful next-generation data centers deployment initiatives.
Enterprises are increasingly building NGDC and hybrid clouds to deliver agile, low-cost IT services to their line of business (LOB) stakeholders. While much of the storage and compute management for virtualization and clouds is automated, delivery of critical network services is still often performed manually. This leads to slower application deployments, increased risks of errors, and significant cost associated with manual tasks. Tasks such as assigning IP addresses or provisioning DNS records can take hours, days or weeks because of different teams and multiple handoffs.
Hurdles To Overcome:
- Lack of network automation
- Limitations in the visibility and control of the virtualized network environments
- Multiple and disparate cloud platforms and siloed management tools
- Risk associated with virtualization and cloud deployment initiatives including compliance and day-to-day management
Manual Processes Impact Agility
8/10 handle DNS manually or with custom scripts
70% don’t have automated IP address management
3 touches per spin up
Manual processes for spinning up network resources can limit the agility promised by next-generation data centers. Without an automated approach to provisioning networks, including DNS and IP addresses for VMs, the speed at which applications can be deployed is diminished and inflexible to change.
And when the VMs are destroyed, IP addresses and DNS record reclamation is time-consuming, often overlooked, and the manual process to clean up results in higher costs to the organization. Additionally, the lack of automated networking processes and multiple handoffs between IT teams wastes your staff’s time when constructing DDI integrations for your NGDC.
In order to truly achieve your transformative data center vision, it is imperative that you introduce automation into the networking layer in addition to the computer and storage aspects of your next-generation data center. This will bring newfound speed and flexibility to deployments while reducing the overhead costs of operating the environment.
The Outdated Approach to Provisioning:
The traditional approach to provisioning virtual instances is time-consuming. DNS is the gateway to an organization’s network as well as its underpinning. Constantly implementing DNS and IP address changes via manual processes isn’t a viable option for organizations with a network of any real size. The traditional method means manually assigning DNS names and provisioning IP addresses, waiting for inefficient ticketing between network and server teams, and physically reclaiming resources once VMs has been de-provisioned.
Lack of Centralized Control and Single-Pane-of-Glass Visibility
71% value a solution to manage new IP addresses and domains in a public cloud.
81% desire a discovery, control, and notification solution as new cloud assets are spun up.
Networking silos and the mass proliferation of management tools at work inside your data center can lead to incomplete control over network data. When you have multiple virtualization and cloud platforms managing disparate elements of the networking infrastructure, the risk of downtime, regulatory noncompliance, and rampant inefficiencies is heightened. Additionally, with the rise of shadow IT and born-in-the-cloud LOB apps, your exposure to cyber threats increases drastically and the possibilities of data exfiltration become more prevalent.
To solve this fundamental networking challenge, organizations need to implement a unified toolset that can see into every layer of the next-generation data center—from physical devices to VMs. It is this holistic, 360-degree view that will help mitigate the risk of downtime, noncompliance, inefficiency, and data theft.
Disparate Tools Across Disparate Platforms:
Because of the vendor sprawl within the modern data center, there are multiple tools required to effectively manage every cloud, virtualization, and app platform. In order to achieve next-generation efficiencies, you need a way to pull all networking properties together into a single, unified view for the most operationally effective management.
VMWare, CliQue, Windows Server, and OpenStack are examples of different platforms that may be at work within your data center.
Inconsistencies Across Multiple Cloud and Virtualization Platforms
79% of cloud deployments have 3 or more VM platforms
59% of companies use 2 or more clouds
76.8% of respondents at an enterprise panel find cloud to be hard to integrate with in-house IT
Private, public, hybrid cloud, virtualization, etc… the list of deployment options for apps and data is nearly endless. While there is no shortage of options for deploying data and workloads, there is a component lacking: consistency. Cloud-hosted workloads and many current next-generation data center projects use multiple, disparate and siloed platforms that lead to inconsistent tracking of virtual resources and breed inefficiency because they don’t interact well with network groups.
This inconsistency results in wasted time, wasted resources, and frustrated professionals. The problem of consistency with next-generation data centers is further exacerbated by the dissimilar and incongruent core network services management tools used by data center professionals.
Vendor Sprawl Within the Data Center:
Organizations today rely heavily on a number of cloud and virtualization platforms to deploy and manage their data center environments. The core issue here is they don’t play nice with each other. In order to truly achieve the innovation of next-generation data centers, organizations require the connective tissue that brings together disparate management solutions into a single, unified platform.
Security and Availability Risks With Next-Gen Data Centers
70% of siloed digital transformation initiatives will ultimately fail because of insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing, or project management
60% of digital transformation initiatives will not be able to scale because of a lack of strategic architecture
The significant rewards of cloud and next-generation data center adoption also come with increased risk and tougher challenges:
- More complex and numerous compliance standards and security considerations.
- Increased operating costs for “lights-on” IT management.
- The challenges of scaling IT as the organization grows.
- Ensuring availability, consistency, and visibility in hybrid or public cloud deployments.
A lack of IT agility results in delays and an inability to adapt to changing business needs—such as new app requirements or the need to scale up or down quickly. Organizations must avoid the common pitfall of simply assuming the underlying network infrastructure often deployed decades ago—and the network team—can handle new requirements that come with an ever-changing IT landscape. Legacy infrastructure was not designed for agile and dynamic NGDC deployments.
Scalability and Security from the Core:
As the data center grows in size and scale, more and more pressure is placed on the network from users, devices, and traffic. Not only does this place a higher burden on core infrastructure services, but it also opens up vulnerabilities for cybercriminals to exploit. Organizations who prioritize the capacity for scale and security at the network layer will be better positioned to adapt to spikes in demand and defend their organizations.
Infoblox Provides the Platform You Need To Achieve Your Vision of a Next-Generation Data Center
Infoblox Actionable Network Intelligence Platform delivers control and security from the core, which enables you to transform your data center:
- Network automation for deploying applications with more agility
- Enhance visibility for single-pane of glass view of physical and virtual networks
- Agility and efficiency to support highly dynamic workloads
- Consistent experience across multiple virtualization and cloud platforms
- Security to reduce risk and better defend your resources in any environment — on-premises, virtual or cloud
And most importantly, it ensures that your data center provides the best customer experience possible for internal and externals users. Infoblox’s DNS, DHCP, and IPAM are at the core of the network and thousands of data centers, which gives us a unique view of the operational working of the network while giving you the intelligence to build the next-generation data center that your business needs.