EMC Enabling Business by Leveraging Data and Business

Robert Dillard, VP, Technology Services, Healthcare Realty
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Robert Dillard, VP, Technology Services, Healthcare Realty

It is an exciting and challenging time to be in technology. For almost as long as IT has existed as a business discipline, technology services have been architected, provisioned, and managed in a consistent and standardized manner that was well understood by both engineers and management. That is no longer the case. The paradigm shift that began with server virtualization is now impacting all aspects of technology infrastructure and the rate of change continues to increase. With the introduction of buzz words such as private, public, and hybrid cloud, hyper-converged infrastructure, storage, network virtualization, and big data there are now as many ways of implementing a technology service as there are stakeholders influencing the decision.

In the current environment of changing paradigms, EMC and the EMC Federation are uniquely positioned to enable businesses to implement technology based solutions that store, manage, protect, secure, process, and leverage data as an asset to the business, no matter which methodology a business selects. EMC’s ability to provide solutions to meet such a variety of needs through its broad portfolio of solutions enables businesses to deliver reliable solutions specific to the needs of the business. EMC enables customers to meet the needs of the traditional data center, implement a software defined data center, and bridge the gap between the two. When evaluating EMC solutions, it is important that Information Technology teams understand the needs of the business and decide whether to implement a Software Defined Data Center or continue with a more traditional approach.

In order to decide which technology to utilize, IT needs to look to the business first. IT departments exist to serve the needs of the business. Starting with the corporate policies, regulatory environment, and goals, IT managers and engineers can begin to narrow down options. For example, if a company’s business model does not require compute and storage resources to scale up and down throughout the business cycle or if a company’s board is against placing data in a hosted environment, the options are likely narrowed down to on premise offerings. The level of data protection, reliability, automation, and scalability required by the business as well as the nature of the data being stored will again help to reduce the number of solutions under consideration. After business needs have been considered, the needs of the IT team will again help to narrow down the options. These needs include the number of arrays and array types being managed, the location of data being protected, the distances between data centers, whether the environment is fully virtualized or leverages physical and virtual resources, space, cooling, and power requirements, to name only a few. The answer to each of these questions will help businesses to focus on the correct set of EMC products, including solutions that enable both the Software Defined Data Center as well as the traditional data center.

“EMC’s ability to provide solutions to meet such a variety of needs through its broad portfolio of solutions enables businesses to deliver reliable solutions specific to the needs of the business”

In addition to evaluating the business and technology needs of the company, engineers and managers must work together to determine how they are going to respond to an ever increasing rate of change in technology. The current paradigm shift towards the Software Defined Data Center is resulting in silos collapsing, entrenched vendors being challenged, new architectures being developed, cost models changing, and manual processes being automated. Many technology teams are paralyzed by the changes in technology. Engineers are frozen by the fear of their job being eliminated and losing their competitive advantage in the market place. Managers are frozen by a fear of the unknown.

Adapting to this new world of Software Defined Data Centers should not be threatening to engineers, management, or the business as a whole. The paradigm shifts that are occurring represent an exciting opportunity for engineers to learn new skills and enhance, not diminish, their value. It provides IT leaders the ability to deploy robust, reliable, consistent, and secure technology solutions while reducing OPEX and CAPEX. It allows businesses to invest less in the infrastructure that supports applications and instead invest in applications that utilize the infrastructure to deliver value to the business.

In order to transition from a traditional data center to a Software Defined Data Center, IT teams need a reliable partner that provides a holistic suite of solutions to enable businesses to deploy technology based solutions to meet business needs. EMC and the EMC Federation provide a comprehensive portfolio that enables software defined storage, networking, server virtualization, data protection, monitoring, automation, security, and big data solutions capable of running on commodity hardware while at the same time providing hardware and software products to enable the traditional data center and bridge the gap between the two. As David Goulden said at EMCWorld 2014, “EMC is a software company,” but they are not leaving behind customers that are not yet ready to make that transition.

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