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4 Ways to Run Workloads Smarter

13 Feb 2018 by Emily Allender

Technology is the new currency of business, with the power to drive the success or failure of your organization. And in the digital age, IT must support new ways of doing business while allowing for future innovation.

Despite that imperative, IT leaders cite cloud and data center transformation as one of the most challenging areas of IT, according to the 2018 Insight Technology Pulse Survey. Transforming legacy systems and migrating processes to the cloud with minimal disruptions are particularly difficult, suggesting that, while businesses want to move into the future, they’re unsure how to proceed.

To ensure your IT is helping, not hindering, your organization, it must run workloads efficiently. Gone are the days of sprawling data centers — the new environment is a combination of compact, on-premise infrastructure and agile cloud computing.

This type of hybrid environment can be highly tailored to suit your organization’s current and future needs, even as they evolve. Let’s take a look at four ways you can run your workloads smarter.

Embrace hyperconverged infrastructure.

The traditional on-premise data center isn’t dead; it just needs an upgrade. Your organization requires agility in every aspect of the business to keep up with the rapid pace of change. The old data center can’t cut it.

Contrary to what some may think, however, you don’t have to abandon your data center completely in order to transform for the future. Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) is a turnkey solution that simplifies the traditional setup — it’s arguably the new face of data centers.

HCI contains storage, virtualization, network, computing and software components in a single, compact node. This significantly smaller appliance comes packaged as a pre-integrated and pre-tested solution, making deployment much quicker than that with traditional systems.

And, since the need to install and configure hardware is minimal, even IT novices are able to install HCI nodes right out of the box. Best of all, it’s affordable — you can start scaling with just two nodes, adding more as those reach capacity.

Create a hybrid environment.

If you really want to transform your infrastructure and keep up with the demands of modern business, consider migrating to a hybrid cloud environment. This approach to cloud computing uses on-premise, public and private clouds, allowing workloads to move between clouds as costs and computing needs change. The versatility of a hybrid cloud allows for greater flexibility, helping your business stay competitive.

Align workloads correctly.

When you consider the potential benefits of a hybrid environment, it’s tempting to jump right in and start migrating. But be careful. We’ve seen organizations rush to migrate workloads without first laying out a comprehensive plan, only to have to move them back — losing time, functionality and money in the process.

This phenomenon, best described as “unclouding,” highlights an important step in the migration process: Create a detailed map of your journey before you begin. Irwin Teodoro, national practice director of cloud transformation at Datalink, a division of Insight, recommends a highly deliberate approach to cloud migration, starting with a good, hard look at your processes, personnel, and current and future needs.

“It’s [about] the approach. It’s about taking the right steps, so you have all the information you need to put these workloads in the appropriate place,” he says.

You can also undergo an expert assessment to help ensure correct alignment of your workloads and applications. This more cautious tactic will save your organization the time and money it might have spent “unclouding.”

Secure your endpoints.

According to the Insight Intelligent Technology Pulse Survey, 72% of IT decision-makers feel they need workloads that provide more secure data access, management and processing. Security has become a major pain point, thanks to more employees working remotely through mobile devices.

With your workforce checking email on smartphones and connecting to less-than-secure networks on the go, there are plenty of opportunities for intentional theft and unintentional loss. But how do you transform your cloud and data center environment without sacrificing security?

Fortunately, security practices have evolved with the modern workplace. Tools such as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) allow you to keep your data in the data center where it belongs, while still enabling mobility in your workforce. As mobile devices become more prevalent, endpoint security is an essential tool to keep your cloud and data center environment protected.

 

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