messy data center.jpgThere Has to Be a Better Way

When personal computers moved from being the toys of hobbyists and tinkers into the hands of business users and the general consumer population there was a common refrain heard:  "I want something that just works out of the box".  Apple and Dell are two examples of vendors that focused on building a business model and brand by messaging to customers that their products "just work".  In order to execute on that vision Apple closely controlled the development and integration of the entire system of hardware and software and Dell was the pioneer of converge for the "open systems" model in partnership with Intel and Microsoft.

 

In the world of corporate data center information technology even today, the majority of enterprise organizations still expend a large share of their resources assembling data center equipment from multiple vendors and putting it all together.  From procuring and configuring equipment, to integrating software and hardware, to installing and configuring monitoring, and then testing everything,  a lot of effort goes into "just getting things to work".  And this all has to happen before applications like Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and/or SharePoint Server can even begin to be deployed.  Even after all this effort, the end result is that most organizations do have sufficient standardization across their data centers to support significant levels of automation or consistent monitoring.  However, data center equipment procurement and management best practices are starting to change dramatically. 


There is greater awareness of the need to improve time to service being driven by requests for more empowerment of business users and software developers in addition to doing more with less IT budget.  The public contract cloud providers have built technology and business models catering to the requirements of end-user agility and control. Many organizations are under pressure to provide these same service levels within the secure and compliant confines of the on-premises data center.  The realization that there are now options in the marketplace for the enterprise data center that "just work out of the box" is leading to a revolution in what we call "best practices".


In the remainder of this article I'm going to explain how that is changing, due in large part to ongoing efforts at Dell EMC, and what it means for IT and business decision makers.  There is some really interesting news for organizations that rely heavily on Microsoft applications including SQL Server, Exchange, and SharePoint in the third section below.


Brief History of Converged Platforms

Converged-Infrastructure-2015-Vertical_563x720_72_RGB.jpgThe Dell EMC VCE™ brand of products was the pioneer of converged infrastructure with the introduction of Vblock® Systems in 2009. The portfolio quickly expanded to introduce VxBlock® Systems, integrating a wide-array of technologies and offering increased choice and flexibility for converged infrastructure systems.


Dell EMC's Converged Platforms Division is continuing to innovate with a portfolio of products that bring together world class hardware, software, support and purchasing all from one vendor.  Today, converged and hyper-converged products in the Dell EMC catalog include Vblock®, VxRack® and VxRail®With a flash-optimized portfolio, Dell EMC provides even more options for customers to transform and modernize their data centers. Since introducing the industry’s first true converged infrastructure system, Dell EMC has helped more than 1,000 customers transform their IT environments to become more agile, reliable, and cost-effective.

 

With the VCE portfolio of Blocks, Racks, and Appliances, IT leaders have the flexibility to:

  • Reduce costs
  • Deliver New Services
  • Shift Resources from Maintaining Infrastructure to Delivering Innovative Business Value
  • Modernize and Transform Data Center Environments
  • Meet the Evolving and Dynamic Demands of Today's Tech-Savvy Mobile Workforce

 

Meet the Next Level of Innovation Up the Stack

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While many organizations have successfully introduced virtualization on top of converged infrastructure as a core technology within their data center, the benefits have largely been restricted to the IT infrastructure owners. End users and business units within customer organizations have not experienced many of the benefits of virtualization, such as increased agility, mobility, and

control.

 

Enterprise Hybrid Cloud integrates the best of Dell EMC and VMware products and services to deliver a fully integrated, enterprise-ready solution across all three data center pillars—compute, storage, and network. Enterprise Hybrid Cloud empowers IT organizations to accelerate the implementation and adoption of a hybrid cloud while still enabling customer choice for the compute and networking infrastructures within the data center.

 

There is an extensive library of application blueprints developed for Microsoft application deployment and management available through the Microsoft modular add-on to Enterprise Hybrid Cloud.   The add-on is built using VMware vRealize Application Services and VMware vRealize Orchestrator to enable automated deployment, management, and protection of Exchange Server, SQL Server, and SharePoint Server applications, and to enable application monitoring with VMware vRealize Hyperic during the application lifecycle.

 

Enterprise Hybrid Cloud for Microsoft Applications provides a reference architecture that integrates all the key components and functionality necessary for deploying, managing, and protecting Microsoft applications in a hybrid cloud. It enables customers to leverage Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 4.0 for:

 

  • On-demand, self-service provisioning of Microsoft enterprise applications such as Exchange Server, SQL Server, and SharePoint Server
  • Complete management of the application service life-cycle
  • Provisioning, monitoring, protection, and management of the infrastructure services by line-of-business end users
  • Provisioning of application blueprints with associated infrastructure resources by line-of-business application owners
  • Provisioning of backup, continuous availability, and disaster recovery services as part of the cloud service provisioning process
  • Database as a service (DBaaS), with rapid, on-demand, self-service provisioning of SQL Server instances and databases on SQL Server virtual machines, post deployment

 

We have recently released a solution guide that describes how to use Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 4.0 for Microsoft Applications to provision and manage new and existing Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft SharePoint Server applications for on-premises or hosted cloud services.  Use the link below to download the solutions guide and please post any comments or questions in using the comment features below.  We always value your feedback!

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Download the solution guide for Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 4.0, Microsoft Applications



Deciding where to deploy Microsoft applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft SharePoint Server can involve trade-offs. Traditional on-premises infrastructure gives IT teams more control, but provisioning can take weeks. Public clouds speed up provisioning, but they do not necessarily meet business requirements for data protection, disaster recovery, security, and guaranteed service levels. EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 4.0 provides on-premises or hosted cloud services to meet these business requirements.  If you are looking for solutions for the enterprise data center that "just work" your in luck - check out the Dell EMC Converged Platforms and Solutions website.


Thanks for reading,

Phil Hummel, EMCDSA

You can find me on Twitter as @GotDisk


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