A data center

Enterprise Companies Benefit From the Evolution of Data Centers

20 Apr 2016 by Jessica Hall

One challenge that many businesses, especially enterprise companies, are facing today is the management of big data. Microsoft Azure not only helps solve this, but it also delivers data quicker, in a more cost-effective manner and with increased flexibility.

Delivering world-class security, Azure doesn’t have to replace your current infrastructure — you can also take advantage of a hybrid cloud, using this cloud-computing platform as an extension of your current infrastructure.

A shift toward hybrid solutions highlights just one of the many trends in the evolution of data centers. As you contemplate changes to your own infrastructure, consider these five reasons data centers are evolving to meet the needs of enterprise companies like yours.

Hybrid cloud is here to stay.

“There's a realization that the concept of hybrid cloud is probably the right way to do it,” says David Mayer, vice president of product management for software at Insight. This is especially true for enterprise companies who often leverage a variety of applications, some that live on premises, some that fall under the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model and others that are categorized as Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. An independent survey of more than 600 IT professionals found that 85% of enterprise companies will have employed a hybrid IT approach by the end of this year. 

With Azure Stack, you can run this hybrid cloud solution in your own data center, creating efficiencies and allowing your assets to continue to live where employees are accustomed to accessing them. In deciding where workloads live, Mayer recommends looking at your environment on a workload-by-workload basis, weighing all the variables and considering the choice from a cost-savings perspective. From there, you’ll be able to determine the right approach.

Enhance the way you analyze big data.

From the exploding ubiquity of data to the permeation of new technology and devices, there’s never been more stress on an enterprise’s data center than there is today. A major trend in data center architecture is employing building block scalabilitywithin your IT infrastructure. This approach allows enterprise companies to take advantage of an exceptionally responsive IT environment, increasing and reducing capabilities as needed, while still holding onto the resiliency and redundancy associated with traditional environments.

Supporting a wide variety of databases, devices, operating systems, programming languages and tools, Azure easily integrates with many IT environments. Azure technologies can also provide:

  • Azure Data Factory for intricate data connections
  • Azure HDInsight for big data management and analysis
  • Azure Machine Learning for predictive analytics
  • Azure SQL Database for large data workloads

It’s flexible and caters to traditional IT organizations.

Built upon Microsoft’s software stack, Azure ensures developers and IT specialists can promptly build and manage enterprise, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile and web applications using existing skills and familiar technology. “Azure is a flexible solution that matches the majority of your regulatory and security needs. It also uses your existing management tools," adds Mayer. With the ability to run versions of Linux and host nonMicrosoft-based applications on Azure, you’re able to do more with the platform than ever before.

AWS is growing in popularity, but it can cause concern.

As an end-to-end, self-contained solution, AWS is incredibly flexible, allowing a company to run their entire IT environment in the cloud. However, in doing this, as an enterprise company, you’re delivering your IT directory, networking information, infrastructure and security information to Amazon. “That’s a decision that each organization will have to make based on their own view of the provider’s strategy and offering,” Mayer cautions.

Prepare for management challenges.

In leveraging various providers, enterprise companies are going to need to identify the best way to manage their environment, as different providers deliver varied management tools. “Today, there isn’t any one tool that will allow you to look across all of those environments at one time,” Mayer says.

“You compound the complexity of managing this environment as you move workloads into different places for them to run in.” Mayer cautions that the ongoing resources needed to manage these environments can reduce some of the cost savings of moving applications to the cloud.

In choosing Microsoft Azure, enterprise companies have been able to scale rapidly, save money and enhance efficiencies. Talk to a specialist to learn how your company can