Illustration of modern data center with mobile devices around it.

The Secret to Storage Optimization? A Data Center and Cloud Strategy

23 Oct 2018 by Alex Valenzuela

Data provides the insights you need to add value to your business and gain a competitive advantage. But managing that data can be challenging. Learn how a cloud strategy can help you achieve data center optimization and meet evolving business needs.

  • What are my key business objectives? And how will I streamline processes to achieve them?
  • What are the biggest challenges my company faces when deciding what cloud platform to use?
  • How do I govern and address evolving security risks and requirements along the way?

Understanding today’s business needs

Today’s IT leaders are heavily focused on increasing operational efficiency, improving the customer experience, enhancing agility to support growing demands and leveraging new technology platforms.

But how are businesses supposed to act on these goals when, according to IDG Research, 66% of budget has to go toward simply keeping the lights on?1 Many organizations are taking note of this budget deficiency and are expected to increase funding for innovation to 45% by the end of 2019. With greater funding, businesses have the opportunity to not only invest in new technology to increase productivity and gain market share, but also to leverage third parties to assist with the IT transformational roadmap.

Show me the stats: See what’s behind shifts in cloud and data center strategies in this infographic.

Working with a partner who has expertise in cloud enablement and data center optimization can lift the weight off your IT teams — giving them more time to focus on strategic initiatives and, in return, achieve additional cost savings.

Having the right partner can help you determine compliance requirements, assess growth and scalability requirements, and make sure your workloads are on track and your storage solutions are up to date for optimal results. Outsourcing can also help you execute application and data migration with ease, ensure your solutions are secure, and source and integrate the proper platforms across your locations.

Finding your best-fit cloud solution

Many organizations are transforming data centers to enable business-critical applications and workloads to exist in the cloud. It’s important that the infrastructure and technology in the data center support moving these apps and workloads around without the loss of productivity.

With a cloud-enabled infrastructure, businesses have the ability to simultaneously augment on-premise data storage with cloud-based storage solutions, back up and recover critical files, access applications on or off premises, and effortlessly monitor systems whenever they need to.

But how do you know which platform to choose? How can you guarantee the best results for your business and get the most out of your cloud investment?

Each cloud platform has benefits and drawbacks. To match the right job to the right cloud, you need to consider your specific business requirements for security, growth, multisite locations, data access and compliance. Assessing your business components can help you choose between the private and public cloud — or a combination of both.

More insight: This whitepaper outlines three crucial steps to help you determine which workloads should go in which type of cloud.

Implementing the right hardware

Speed and automation are critical in today’s IT environment: speed in delivering products to market, speed in developing new products, speed in delivering updates to existing products — and automating the operational piece to support the speed. Data center optimization enables organizations to achieve a modern data center to manage today’s fast-paced business and prepare for the future.

But legacy infrastructure can’t keep up with growing expectations and demands — resulting in unexpected downtime, inefficiencies and expensive maintenance costs. Storage solutions that can help bridge the gap between outdated IT and a modernized environment include:

  • Software-Defined Storage (SDS): Provision, orchestrate and manage physical data on industry-standard servers.
  • All-flash and hybrid storage: Consolidate workloads, reduce management costs and increase application deployment speed.
  • Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI): Get storage, virtualization, network, computing and software components in a single, compact node.

Taking a data center assessment can help start the data center refresh conversation and provide valuable insight into what modernization challenges you need to overcome to transform your business.

A deeper dive: Learn more about the benefits of a data center refresh — including cost savings — in this whitepaper.

Protecting workloads on and off premises

As you continue to work toward IT optimization, a proactive infrastructure coupled with backup and recovery solutions through the cloud can prevent data loss.

For optimal cloud security, many cloud services provide application role-based authentication, continuous user monitoring and predictive analytics to help businesses forecast potential areas of attack. According to IDC, “60% of chief information officers will refocus infrastructure cybersecurity around authentication and trust to manage business risks, initiating the retirement of systems that cannot ensure data protection.”2

Building a strong security program for a hybrid strategy will include:

  • Selecting and implementing technology that supports modern security programs
  • Keeping employees informed about security policies to prevent insider threats
  • Scanning apps for vulnerabilities and testing your environment to find gaps
  • Tracking when and how data is used to prevent breaches and theft
  • Making sure your data is encrypted, backed up and protected in case of a breach

Taking a step in the right direction

As an organization embarks on its transformational journey, the amount of data it collects will continue to build. Any business considering modernizing its data center to accommodate this growth should clearly define the business goals and intended outcomes. Once the outcomes are defined, investing in a proper assessment of the business’s current environment will provide the baseline needed to help build a (successful) transformational roadmap.

1 IDG Research. (2017, Dec. 21). Stakes Rise for IT: The IT Transformation Journey. Insight.com.
2 IDC. (2018, June 6). IDC’s Strategic Predications That Will Help Asia/Pacific Organizations Become a Digital Native Enterprise. IDCdxawards.com.

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About Alex Valenzuela
Director, Strategic Alliance

Alex uses his more than 10 years of IT and end-user services experience to help organizations connect their workforce and transform their end-user support strategies.

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