The Soft, the Hard and the Virtual

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Infrastructure turns virtual, software-driven and automated, delivered as easy-to-consume services

What do you do in an intense standoff with IT infrastructure that gets more complicated and unmanageable by the day – while it’s trying to steal all your money? Well, send in the cavalry. Virtualization is key to standardize, hide complexity and render deployment invisible. Software transforms hardware and everything else infrastructure-related into flexible, editable code. Automation weaves it all together, bypassing tedious, replicable and error-prone human activities, delivering infrastructure services in an instant. Together, they make the unbeatable foundation for a business that moves even faster than its shadow.

What

  • Infrastructure is categorized as a utility-based capability, where compute, network, storage and security features are easily contracted, used, modified and deleted without manual intervention or exposure to technical details.
  • Virtualizing infrastructure capabilities is a de facto approach, optimizing the use of available resources as well as the benefits from various cloud deployment options, including compute, network and storage.
  • Open industry standards enable a portable, transferable definition of infrastructure services and components, not only within the industry, but also between businesses and service and platform providers.
  • Declarative platforms are based on ‘soft-coding’ components rather than point-to-point configuration and integration of actual hardware. Combined with API, infrastructure is truly programmable.
  • Orchestration and automation tools enable repetitive infrastructure component tasks to be executed time and again using managed and monitored scripts, without risk of human error.

Use

  • A leading US cruise line uses a library of declarative infrastructure modules, enabling the speedy creation of new platforms, reducing build time by up to 90% and significantly decreasing risk by limiting manual elements.
  • Working with VMware to modernize its data center architecture to reduce cost and increase adaptability, SBI uses one of India’s most robust private clouds supporting worldwide operations of 25-thousand branches, over 250-thousand employees and more than 50-million mobile transactions.
  • Once a very traditional, complex and manual infrastructure environment; a UK-based public sector organization has moved to a fully IaaS-based one, reducing build and service times significantly.
  • Replacing a legacy infrastructure that was no longer fit for purpose, the British Army partnered with VMware to deliver a software system enabling the super-speedy development and deployment of applications, coinciding with an ongoing cultural overhaul to embrace a new DevOps way of working.

Impact

  • Infrastructure complexity and costs are reduced, minimizing technology options and integration issues.
  • Infrastructure aligns directly with business, working together to build an all-inclusive capability; combining compute, network, storage, and software for instant benefits.
  • Diversity of technology and components enables a more elastic approach towards resiliency and scalability, whilst eliminating configuration drift and mitigating risk.

Tech

  • Industry standards: OpenFlow, Cisco Opflex, OpenStack, OpenShift
  • Virtualization Tools: Hyper-V, VMWare vSphere, Red Hat Virtualization, Citrix Hypervisor, Oracle VM Server, AWS EC2, IBM PowerVM, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server
  • Container Management Platforms: BMC BladeLogic Server and BMC Cloud Lifecycle, IBM Tivoli Provisioning, IBM Cloud Orchestrator, Microfocus Orchestration, Microfocus Server, HPE Cloud Service, VMware vRealize, vRealize Orchestrator, Puppet, Chef, Red Hat Ansible, CloudForms
  • Declarative Infrastructure Tools: Ansible Tower, CFEngine, Otter, Puppet, Saltstack, Terraform
  • CyberSecurity related: Akamai Kona, Arena ITI, AWS Security Hub, Azure Information Protection, Black Duck, GCP Command Center, IBM QRadar Advisor with Watson, Symantec

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