As businesses realise the importance of removing the IT shackles, in the quest for increased innovation, future- proofing the data centre has become a leading priority.
Driven by a relentless need for more agility, control, simplicity and scale, partners are now tasked with creating full solution sets to meet the new demands of the customer.
But in a data centre driven world there is no silver bullet, rather an assortment of solutions that when combined, align with the digital transformation priorities of Australian businesses.
Triggered by technologies such as cloud, big data and software-defined networking, the future of the data centre has now become a reality for the local channel.
This ARN Connect event, in association with BigTec, sidestepped the hype to look at the bigger industry picture, peeling back the infrastructure layers to outline how partners can Transform the Data Centre One Block at a Time.
1 - Realising reference architecture value
Today, organisations expect applications to be responsive, simple, scalable and aligned with the personal applications found on smartphones and tablets.
As a result, Australian businesses expect private cloud data centres to support a scalable, dynamic software environment, capable of delivering applications at speed, in the way users demand.
Realising the vision of a hybrid, software-defined data centre (SDDC) creates the foundation for meeting dynamic, web-scale application demands.
But with a market filled with options, where do partners start? “We’re seeing huge disruption but in looking beyond that, there’s a greater need to cohesively bring together the different components of the data centre,” Juniper Networks senior director of solutions APAC Richard Bayliss said.
“No longer do multiple applications on a mobile phone operate in isolation, they communicate. That’s an approach required in the channel to boost end-user outcomes and we’re creating an open framework to encourage openness.”
In the data centre, creating a cohesive technology strategy has emerged as a critical aspect in addressing new demands around performance, agility and data governance, requiring complementary vendors to work collaboratively to provide end-to-end channel solutions.
“The market as a whole continues to remove layers of complexity, but on the flip side, vendors must provide value that is co-operative,” Nutanix senior manager systems engineering A/NZ Carlo Nizeti added.
“For instance, we’ve delivered APIs that Juniper can bolt onto which is a great example of how multiple technologies can be utilised to improve value and capabilities.”
2 - Meeting data centre demand
Widespread enterprise adoption of virtualisation and cloud technology has led to seismic changes at the heart of enterprise IT.
In short, this is what makes data centre transformation such a huge opportunity for customers and reseller partners alike.
“End-users are moving away from traditional hardware models,” BigTec general manager of Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) Alex Teh said. “There’s huge pressure for businesses to adopt these technologies and hyper-converged isn’t a fad, it’s here to stay.”
In response to increased demand for cloud native technologies, Exclusive Networks launched its first stand alone distribution subsidiary across Australia and the Pacific region, honing in on the expanding data centre market.
Unveiled as BigTec in September 2016, the division aims to help local resellers capitalise on new opportunities around virtualised, software-defined and web-scale IT.
“We’re taking the best practices that we’ve learned globally and are bringing it down here to ensure we’re executing well for our resellers,” Teh explained. “Local customers need partners that can help integrate into existing networks, architect design products and implement as well as providing support.”
Through accelerating the adoption of innovative data centre transformation technologies, Teh said BigTec is unlocking new reseller sales opportunities centred around realising the full potential of virtualised and cloud IT.
“My message to the channel is to have no fear,” Teh said. “If you’re adopting these types of technologies then we are here to help and to fast- track your development.”
3 - There’s no silver bullet but the channel must step up
In the pursuit of greater business agility, security, simplicity and scale, the traditional concept of the data centre has been shattered into a hybrid mix of on-premise hardware, multi-cloud services and virtual network functions.
The impact on the channel is that there is no singular solution to fix all, with the new look data centre depending on foresighted partners to provide the right solution ‘blocks’ that integrate in existing environments.
“The data centre has changed rapidly,” AtlasPlato CTO Richard Mitton observed. “Previously, the market was defined by the quantity of equipment — there was a data centre on every floor of every office in every city.”
But according to Mitton, the infrastructure has subsequently taken a back seat in the evolution of the data centre, with data emerging as a valuable asset for customers.