Planning for a Software Defined Infrastructure
Blog written by Ryan Hagen, Consulting Manager, Global SUSE Services
Seems you can’t pick up an IT magazine these days without hearing the term software defined infrastructure. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype. You might be thinking ‘people are talking about so it must be something that we need.” Some of you are wincing from the pain felt in trying to adopt the latest technologies without properly looking at what will work for your environment and business.
In a software defined world, the computing infrastructure is virtualized. That is, it is delivered as a service. Management and control of the networking, storage and/or data center infrastructure is automated by intelligent software rather than by the hardware components of the infrastructure.
Essentially the definition explains a private cloud, but in reality this allows your data center environment to be agile, automated, centrally managed and scalable. What this means for your business is the ability to deliver applications and data to your end users/employees within hours instead of in months. In this ‘want it now’ marketplace this is important for keeping employees happy as well as your company’s current clients, and acquiring new clients.
But becoming a software defined data center is not just buying the right technology, it takes planning and buy in from your whole organization. And part of that planning is timing. You do not have to jump on the first train that goes by; make sure you are jumping on the right train.
Three Keys to Software Defined Infrastructure
Planning for a software defined infrastructure involves many aspects, but here are my top 3 considerations:
- Education: You can’t make an educated decision without proper research. Understand what you are buying and why you are buying it. It’s not easy to wade through the swamp of FUD out there, that’s why you need a partner that you trust and has the experience, and the scars, to show you what will work for your unique environment.
- Application Dependencies: Do you know your application dependencies and how your organization is using the applications? Have you had the right business-level discussions? This is where you must bring in line of business and form your partnership. Know what they are using and why. Know their key projects and needs.
- Company Culture: After you get your line of business on board, consider your organizational culture. This pertains to the end user experience, what they are looking for to enhance their jobs and what issues they have and don’t have. Don’t be a quarterback without receivers. Remember, the best technology that money can buy will not be successful without organizational wide acceptance.
Steps to Software Defined Data Center
Virtual desktops are the easiest way to look at why planning is important. Yes technology changes for the project are important, but communication is maybe more important. Provide them with the benefits they will see when implantation occurs.
- Gaining a portal that shows them all the applications that are pertinent to your job.
- Fixes can be done remotely and centrally from the data center.
Consequences of Not Planning
If you are expecting people to adopt these changes just because you said so then you are wrong and will have a mutiny on your hands. I had a client a few years ago that had purchased all these desktop licenses and assumed that everyone would be happy because they thought it was cool technology.
There was no planning, no discussion between lines of business, and therefore no success criteria based on what the hot buzz words that are out there. Needless to say the licenses became the dreaded shelfware. Think of all the wasted time, money, and resources.
Get the Help of a Trusted Partner
So, you know you want to move to a software defined data center. And maybe you want to start with virtual desktops. Did you take the time to talk to a trusted advisor?
SUSE has worked with many organizations to help them determined their desired business outcomes and how technology can help them meet these outcomes. Our Global Services team will paint a picture to the entire organization on how each decision will benefit the organization. We push past the hype and help you make the right choices.
All projects are a journey and SUSE Global Services is your trusted partner on that journey. We recognize that you are under pressure to speed software development, deployment and delivery, to meet the needs of the digital economy. Global Services has technical and product experts available to help you. We will be your partner helping you from planning to implementation to achieve business outcomes.