Cloud is a key component of digital transformation, which is both disrupting and bringing new benefits to enterprises today. “Every business is looking at the technology it needs and uses and how it can use that technology to disrupt current business models,” says VMware Vice President for Cloud Marketing, Nick King. It is a conversation that inevitably centers on the lifeblood of every enterprise: its applications. And once the conversation begins, it ultimately turns to the data center.
Managing Applications and Priorities
Managing the present and future state of its applications is increasingly critical to any enterprise’s survival and success in the digital economy. Thus, organizations are examining their application portfolios and making key decisions about how to build, manage, and operate the current and future set of apps they will rely on to compete and thrive. Use of public cloud is part of the application strategy for most IT organizations.
Depending on its complexity, importance, and strategic value to the business, an application could be treated in a variety of ways. It could remain on-premises or be migrated to an external cloud; it could be rewritten (or refactored) for cloud; it could be developed specifically to take advantage of cloud architectures (cloud-native); or it could be pulled down from a public cloud as a Software as a Service (SaaS) application. For most organizations, these strategies are not exclusive but overlapping and consistent with the diverse goals of the business.
Regardless of intent, however, organizations are coalescing around a set of common initiatives to best manage these application portfolio decisions. Perhaps not surprisingly, the first consideration is typically a strategy that allows organizations to get the most out of their existing IT investments. Many have significant investments in highly virtualized data centers that contain the business-critical applications for their organizations. They are also looking for the best ways to leverage their data centers as part of their cloud strategies so that they have visibility and control of IT resources, whether those resources are located on-premises in a private data center or off-premises in a public cloud.
“Modernizing their infrastructure to make them compatible with public cloud and create a hybrid cloud environment,” says King, “is the best solution to accomplishing these goals efficiently and cost-effectively.”
A Software-Defined Approach
A modernized infrastructure is a highly virtualized, software-defined environment with virtualization across the stack—compute, storage, and network—and unified management. This allows organizations to take advantage of cloud-like computing capabilities for greater agility, flexibility, and speed to market.
A modernized infrastructure makes it easy to move apps from an on-premises data center into the cloud while maintaining security, management policies, and compliance. “It creates a common operating environment,” explains King, “that allows businesses more control and the ability to respond much faster.”
The modernized infrastructure helps reduce costs by allowing organizations to move their workloads to the cloud or data center platform that’s most efficient. It also supplies the flexibility to enhance on-premises cloud capabilities as part of a single, integrated cloud strategy. And it provides organizations with a much greater agility to scale up or down quickly in response to changing business conditions.
“Previously, scaling up or down in the data center was like waiting in line all day for an appointment at the DMV,” King says. “But with a modernized infrastructure, businesses now have the agility to scale fast, on their terms.”
Extending to Public Cloud
By establishing a unified operating model that spans across on-premises and off-premises environments, a modernized infrastructure provides greater agility by enabling organizations to treat their entire infrastructure as a single pool of resources. A common platform also provides the consistency and tools to enable companies to use modern technologies to encourage and spur their own innovation.
VMware is committed to helping its customers modernize their infrastructures for extending to public cloud. The company’s strategy is designed to ensure a common operating platform with common controls for all computing environments—private, public, or hybrid cloud.
“Distinguishing between them is an old way of thinking,” concludes King. “The definitions are blurred, now. A modernized infrastructure allows customers to take advantage of whatever is best for them.”
Learn more about modernizing infrastructure and VMware’s software-defined architecture.