One of the key topics that IT leaders are going to talk about a great deal in the years ahead is IT environment consolidation. Being able to deliver a consolidated environment is going to be a key quality for competitive differentiation.
Events over the past two years have rapidly accelerated transformation in most enterprises, by as many as seven years in some cases. Businesses have needed to rapidly enable remote working, embrace cloud computing, and develop edge capabilities. The software environment has needed to be re-assessed, and new security best-practices have had to be adopted, given that the old “perimeter” approach to IT security no longer works – there is no perimeter with a dispersed workforce.
All these rapid investments and shifts in approach to IT have resulted in businesses that have a desire for innovation and digital transformation, but their environments are creating roadblocks. An effective consolidation strategy for these enterprises will involve centralising as much of the work as possible.
This is the challenge that NetApp’s FlexPod solution is answering. Designed in collaboration with Cisco, FlexPod will allow enterprises to run their workloads on a validated and adaptable infrastructure platform, and one that will allow them to constantly optimise the compute and storage space across the hybrid cloud. FlexPod consolidates much of the infrastructure within an organisation to just two vendors. This allows partners and customers to simplify deployment, reduce operational overheads and maximise performance.
One of the key benefits of FlexPod, is its ability to scale resources independently, such as storage in the environment. Whereas hyper-converged systems require customers to scale all their resources in one go, potentially leading to expensive under-utilised resources.
FlexPod is also an effective solution for edge deployments. Because the system can be hosted locally and runs on fast storage, it affords users the benefit of real-time data on the edge. FlexPod seamlessly and effectively integrates into a hybrid cloud environment.
NetApp’s FlexPod solution can deliver up to a 61 percent increase in application performance utilising high speed All-Flash storage, a 24 percent savings in software capex, and 60 percent decrease in unplanned downtime, thanks to the reliability of the system.
Efficiency in action
When utility company, TasNetworks, merged two separate electricity supply organisations together, the company was facing a problem: a sheer diversity of systems was going to cause significant inefficiencies across the enterprise.
The solution was to consolidate, and implement SAP HANA applications on the FlexPod solution, with NetApp MetroCluster and Commvault providing the backup and recovery.
In addition to improving the response times and efficiency of the environment, this solution delivered to TasNetworks a greater reliability with its data. “Now, everyone in the business is using SAP and there is one source of truth,” TasNetworks GM of Technology and Performance, Michael Westernberg, said. “We can trust our data, because it is coming through one platform in real time.” (Read more about this story here).
Speed and efficiency are also essential in supporting growth. The Mantra Group hospitality organisation has grown to 11,000 rooms under management, in a multitude of geographic locations. With links to Expedia and Booking.com, and a need to maintain a centralised booking system for the Group, Mantra needed a system that could efficiently handle a 40 percent annual growth of data. The company found the solution in NetApp’s All-Flash Storage as part of a FlexPod solution.
“Accelerating our central reservation database on NetApp all-flash systems with integrated data protection absolutely makes Mantra Group more competitive. Our customers don’t have to wait for important information about their vacations, and we’ve removed a barrier to business growth. With our NetApp All-Flash FAS system, we could double the number of properties we manage over the next three years while providing the high level of performance our customers and employees expect.” (Read more about the story here).
Digital offerings are the growth opportunity for enterprises into the future. KPMG research suggests that as much as 80 percent of new revenue is going to come from digital offerings in the future. To capitalise on that opportunity, the transformed environment needs to focus on efficiency, speed, and scalability. For many enterprises, that means the next step is consolidating IT environments.