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Transforming Legacy Systems: Where Cloud and Processing Power Intersect

Jason Lamb, Cloud Computing Solutions Specialist, Intel

September 12, 2018  |  Cloud  •  Collaboration  •  Cyber Security  •  Data Center

The “Journey to the Cloud” describes a wholesale shift in the technology, operation, and administration of the modern data, in ways not seen since server architectures were fundamentally redrawn with the introduction of the microcomputer, in the 1980s.

This change means that the traditional three tier data center era, of separately managed server, storage and network infrastructures, is coming to an end. In a world of massive change due to the impact of digital transformation, the traditional three tier data center simply can’t keep up. The reality is that the expense of human administration of these data centers is more wisely spent on developing the next wave of cloud native applications.

This is because the cloud computing model defines a compute, storage, and network, infrastructure that is integrated, automated, and can be orchestrated to the degree that inserting humans into the process, would simply slows things down. Cloud computing delivers a data center designed to serve the needs of both developers and operators in ways which are dynamic, scalable, resilient, and automated. Additionally cloud computing delivers increased efficiencies, but the primary deliverable is a data center which dramatically reduces time to value for developers, operators, and consumers.

Intel, recognizing this fundamental shift in data center infrastructure requirements, has been engineering the next generation of compute, network, and storage technology, in order to build the next generation of compute clouds. This means regardless of the cloud deployment model, Intel is delivering data center technology which can scale to support a variety of different workload requirements, support various tenant models, and is integrated and automatable, across the data center infrastructure.

The challenge for organizations is, how to get from here, the traditional three tier data center, to there, the compute cloud data center. Some have suggested simplifying this with an answer of, “Cloud First,” which is code for moving all workloads to a public cloud service. This is usually coupled with the idea that once all workloads are moved, the legacy data center infrastructure will eventually wither and die.

However, other organizations have taken a more proactive position and are designing multi cloud configurations that begins with a private cloud, serving as a “workflow hub,” and integrating public clouds, as well as legacy data center infrastructures, into a single unified data center. Combined with the right cloud management platform, (CMP), technologies, this design delivers several important outcomes;

  1. All legacy, and cloud resources can be uniformly managed, including providing application and workload movement across all infrastructures.
  2. Migration from legacy to cloud infrastructures can be managed according to organizational requirements, and timelines.
  3. True cloud broker services can be provided based on realized costs.
  4. Application and workload placement can be organized based on a number of factors, including security, performance, resilience, and cost.
  5. Developers are delivered a unified view of data center resources irrespective of the back end cloud configuration.
  6. All of the above can be fully automated across all infrastructures.

Some have traditionally described any mix of private and public clouds as a hybrid cloud. According to the NIST definition, a hybrid cloud, actually describes a specific application and workload relationship between private and public cloud instances. However, deploying both private and public clouds can also be described as a multi cloud configuration, applicable especially when workloads are placed within a single cloud.

Regardless of whether it’s described as hybrid, or multi cloud, the configuration of utilizing both private as well as public clouds, is gaining traction as the de facto compute model in the private sector, enabling transformation through more agile innovation and service delivery. In 2017, our State of the Cloud survey showed that hybrid cloud adoption over the previous year increased from 19 percent to 57 percent of organizations surveyed.

Agencies will benefit from a hybrid, or multi cloud strategy as well. From NASA using the cloud to host a massive image and video library that allows users to explore space while still on the ground, to the USDA developing a mapping application to help SNAP beneficiaries find the nearest stores that accept the benefit, the cloud is driving innovation in government.

Intel, with the 2017 introduction of both the Xeon Scalable Processor CPU, as well as the first of its kind Optane Data Center SSD, is delivering a new class of data center technology designed to power the next generation of compute cloud. We understand that this data center transformation will proceed at a pace required to support the conversion of legacy systems, into a new class of cloud applications, and that to do so, we are working in partnership with the IT architects and developers who are designing these next generation data centers.

For more information about how to empower your IT environment through Intel, check out the Iron Bow website.

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