Tag Archives: Infrastructure

9 Significant Infrastructure Mergers of 2017


As the cloud and software continue to transform IT infrastructure, vendors are making moves to keep up. This year saw plenty of tech M&A activity as established infrastructure vendors bought up hot startups to expand their platforms with new capabilities for the modern enterprise.

Tech giant HPE made a splash in the hot hyperconverged infrastructure space with its $650 million SimpliVity acquisition while rival Cisco acquired its HCI partner, Springpath. Hyperconvergence has been one of the hottest trends reshaping the data center, and established infrastructure suppliers have been eager to get in on what’s estimated to become a $31 billion global market by 2025.

Meanwhile, the market for software-defined WAN – another hot trend in enterprise infrastructure — consolidated with the acquisition of two of the leading pioneers in the market, Viptela by the ever-acquisitive Cisco and VeloCloud by VMware. The deals left few pure-play suppliers in the fast-growing SD-WAN market, which IHS Markit estimates will jump from $137 million worldwide in the first half of this year to $3.3 billion by 2021.

Other technologies that IT heavyweights snapped up include flash storage and analytics.

Many of the acquisitions are driven by enterprise adoption of cloud and more specifically, hybrid cloud, Dan Conde, analyst at ESG told me in an interview. Hyperconverged infrastructure enables private cloud, and acquiring a leader in that market gave HPE the ability to offer customers a range of cloud options. “People want the agility of cloud on-premises for a variety of reasons,” he said.

The SD-WAN craze, meanwhile, is driven by the need for companies to provide cloud access to their employees, Conde said. “They realize a lot of traffic goes to Office 365, G Suite, or Salesforce, and they better find a way to adapt their branch office networking and routing to access the cloud efficiently and securely,” he said.

Despite the big SD-WAN acquisitions this year, he still sees plenty of opportunity in the market, including managed SD-WAN services. ESG research has found that many companies plan to buy SD-WAN from service providers, he said.

Continue on to review some of the top M&A deals that will impact IT infrastructure in the years to come.

(Image: Freedomz/Shutterstock)



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Hyperconverged Infrastructure: What Do Users Think?


Hyperconvergence burst onto the IT scene a few years ago and remains one of the hottest trends in IT today. Vendors promise greater efficiency and agility with hyperconverged infrastructure. But what do IT pros who use the technology have to say?

Members of IT Central Station, a community of more than 250,000 IT pros who contribute enterprise technology reviews based on their experience, provided insight into leading hyperconverged infrastructure products. They cited features they love in HPE SimpliVity, Nutanix, and VMware vSAN, along with product shortcomings.

Since virtualized workloads are becoming more prevalent, IT Central Station members have found that hyperconverged infrastructure offers organizations the benefit of removing previously separate storage networks. Hyperconverged systems are flexible and can be expanded by adding nodes to the base unit.

HPE SimpliVity

Charlene H., senior systems administrator at a healthcare company, described her positive experience with HPE SimpliVity:  

“The ease of managing this system! Recently added the All Flash CN3400F and oh my goodness, are these nodes fast as lighting! I love having a private cloud for my organization. Public cloud will never care for my organization’s data more than I do.”

Tommy H., senior systems/storage engineer at Banc of California, described the value that HPE SimpliVity’s backup capabilities have added to his organization:

“Backups are all automatic and admins do not have to worry if the production VMs are being backed up. Easy backup policy with no LUN administration is also one less task to worry about. DR and DR replication are no longer an issue; no longer have to seed a SAN locally and ship it out to the DR site.”

However, a senior cloud data architect who uses HPE SimpliVity said improvements could be made to both its data storage and data replication capabilities:

“I would like to see replication to a cloud solution. I would like to replicate the data so that we have a backup copy off-site. I could then be comfortable getting rid of our existing backup solution….The other feature would be a single copy of the data storage as opposed to a dual copy. In that way, when I do things that automatically have dual copies, such as with our SQL server databases, I would not then be making four copies of the data.”

A senior systems administrator at a consultancy company would like to see other improvements:

“There are some maintenance features (replica copy load-balancing) that could stand to be automated and/or streamlined for customer execution.…Also, the ability to scale compute and storage independently of one another would be a way to add value to the entire product line.”

Nutanix

A cyber security engineer at a technology services company explained why he likes Nutanix:

“Hyperconvergence is the most valuable feature for me, as it allows me to scale the hardware accordingly to project requirements…It is now our single most powerful server that is easily scalable and has an HTML5 site that manages all aspects of the system.”

An enterprise systems and IT architect at a technology services company described the improvements that Nutanix has brought to his organization:

“There was a 30% reduction in CAPEX spending when we moved towards the Nutanix platform and we had a high ROI.”

A systems engineer at a university cited room for improvement:  

“The improvement needed is for elastic clusters, meaning the ability to depart and join nodes in an automatic way. We have a laboratory that needs to perform bare metal tests and therefore needs to unjoin the nodes from the cluster and later on join them back.”

Leandro L., system architect at a technology services company, suggested that Nutanix improve its asynchronous replication capabilities:

“I would like to see asynchronous replication in less than 60 minutes, or even in 15 minutes. I understand that they are working to lower replication times to 1 minute or less.”

VMware vSAN

Raymund R., a network and system administrator, values VMware vSAN’s minimal downtime:

“The minimal downtime alone is a winning blow for both the management and the ITs. Unexpected downtime is inevitable. It’s been part any organization. Addressing that pitfall really gives an edge from a business perspective.”

Harri W. ICT network administrator at a maritime company, praised vSAN’s scalability and upgrade capabilities:

“Scalability and future upgrades are a piece of cake. If you want more IOPs, then add disk groups and/or nodes on the fly. If you want to upgrade the hardware, then add new servers and retire the old ones. No service breaks at all.”

However, Javier G., engagement cloud solution architect at a communications service provider, would like to see improved hardware support with vSAN:

“The list of hardware supported should be increased in the future. I would improve these areas by increasing the number of partners to support as many partners as possible.”

Similarly, Pushkaraj D., senior manager of IT infrastructure at a tech services company, discussed the need for improved hardware compatibility:

“The vSAN Hardware Compatibility List Checker needs to improve, since currently it is a sore point for vSAN. …You need to thoroughly check and re-check the HCL with multiple vendors like VMware, in the first instance, and manufacturers like Dell, IBM, HPE, etc., as the compatibility list is very narrow.”

 



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On-Prem IT Infrastructure Endures, Talent Needed


Despite steady adoption of public cloud services, organizations continue to invest in their on-premises IT infrastructure and the people who run it, according to a new report from 451 Research.

The firm’s latest “Voice of the Enterprise: Datacenter Transformation” study found that organizations are maintaining healthy capacity in their on-premises data centers and have no plans to cut back on the staff assigned to data center and facility operations. Almost 60% of the nearly 700 IT decision makers surveyed by the firm said they have enough data center floor space and power capacity to last at least five years.

Even though many companies expect the total number of IT staffers to decline over the next year, most expect the number of employees dedicated to data center and facilities will stay the same or increase, according to 451 Research.

The reason for the continued data center investment, cited by 63% of those polled, was fairly generic: business growth. Christian Perry, research manager and lead analyst of the report, said analysts dove a little deeper. As it turns out, companies are finding that keeping workloads long term on public cloud services isn’t all that cost effective.

Regardless of the type of workload in the cloud – ERP, communications, or CRM for example – or size of the company, when an organization expands a workload by adding new licenses, seats, or functions, the cost over time winds up close to what it would cost to keep the workload on-premises, Perry said. Costs include opex and capex for IT infrastructure – servers, storage and networking – as well as the facilities that contain it.

“It still is dirt cheap to go to the cloud, but to stay in the cloud, that’s a whole other story,” he told me in a phone interview.

While some companies manage their cloud costs well, unexpected growth, a massive new project or a new division coming online can make cloud costs unwieldy, Perry said.

Another factor that’s playing into the continued data center investment is the “cloudification” of on-premises IT infrastructure. Converged infrastructure has enabled companies to reach greater levels of agility, flexibility, and cost control, Perry said, adding that hyperconverged infrastructure boosts that trend.

Data center skills shortage

While organizations continue to invest their on-premises IT infrastructure and facilities, they’re running into staffing challenges, 451 Research found. Twenty-nine percent face a skills shortage when trying to find qualified data center and facilities personnel, Perry said.

As companies are shifting away from traditional IT architectures to converged and hyperconverged infrastructure, demand for IT generalists has grown, he said. “Specialists are still critical in on-prem environments, but we’ve definitely seen the rise of the generalist…There’s a lot of training going on internally in organizations to bring their specialists to a generalist level.”

Of the 29% facing staffing challenges, a majority (60%) are focused on training existing staff to fill the gaps. Those attending the training tend to be server and storage administrators, 451 Research found. “There’s a certain sense of fear that they’re going to become siloed and potentially irrelevant,” Perry said. “At the same time, there’s a lot of excitement about these newer architectures and software-defined technologies.”

Companies cited a big skills gap in the areas of virtualization and containers, technologies companies view as transformative to their on-premises infrastructure, he said. They’re also key technologies to facilitate the continued enterprise focus on data center consolidation.

“The jump in cloud has had an impact on IT staffing overall,” Perry said. “A lot of cloud service providers have scooped up a ton of good IT talent. That’s not just Tier 1 cloud providers, but also Tier 2…They’re pulling away skilled IT staff and leaving gaps for on-prem.”

A separate 451 Research report that looked into enterprise server and converged infrastructure trends found that VM administration was the top skill enterprises have trouble finding. A third of organizations reported a networking skills gap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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8 Infrastructure Trends Ahead for 2018


The cloud is making inroads into the enterprise, but on-premises IT infrastructure remains a critical part of companies’ IT strategies. According to the Interop ITX and InformationWeek 2018 State of Infrastructure study, companies are continuing to invest in data center, storage, and networking infrastructure as they build out their digital strategies.

The survey, which polled 150 IT leaders and practitioners from a range of industries and company sizes, found that 24% said their organization plans to increase spending on IT infrastructure by more than 10% in the next year. Twenty-one percent plan to spend 5% to 10% more on IT infrastructure spending compared to last year while 18% expect to spend no more than 5%.

Twenty-seven percent of IT leaders surveyed said their organizations plan to increase build out or support of IT infrastructure in order to support new business opportunities. Another 30% cited increased workforce demands as the driver for a bigger focus on infrastructure.

Enterprises are investing in a variety of technologies to help them achieve their digital goals and keep up with changing demands, according to the study. Storage is a huge focus for companies as they try to keep pace with skyrocketing data growth. In fact, the rapid growth of data and data storage is the single greatest factor driving change in IT infrastructure, the survey showed.

Companies are also focused on boosting network security, increasing bandwidth, adding more servers to their data centers, and building out their WLANs.

At the same time, they see plenty of challenges ahead to modernizing their infrastructure, including cost of implementation, lack of staff expertise, and security concerns.

Read ahead to find out what organizations are planning in the year ahead for their IT infrastructure. For the full survey results, download the complete report. Learn more about infrastructure trends at Interop ITX in Las Vegas April 30-May 4. Register today! 

(Image: Connect world/Shutterstock)



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On-Prem IT Infrastructure Endures, Talent Needed


Despite steady adoption of public cloud services, organizations continue to invest in their on-premises IT infrastructure and the people who run it, according to a new report from 451 Research.

The firm’s latest “Voice of the Enterprise: Datacenter Transformation” study found that organizations are maintaining healthy capacity in their on-premises data centers and have no plans to cut back on the staff assigned to data center and facility operations. Almost 60% of the nearly 700 IT decision makers surveyed by the firm said they have enough data center floor space and power capacity to last at least five years.

Even though many companies expect the total number of IT staffers to decline over the next year, most expect the number of employees dedicated to data center and facilities will stay the same or increase, according to 451 Research.

The reason for the continued data center investment, cited by 63% of those polled, was fairly generic: business growth. Christian Perry, research manager and lead analyst of the report, said analysts dove a little deeper. As it turns out, companies are finding that keeping workloads long term on public cloud services isn’t all that cost effective.

Regardless of the type of workload in the cloud – ERP, communications, or CRM for example – or size of the company, when an organization expands a workload by adding new licenses, seats, or functions, the cost over time winds up close to what it would cost to keep the workload on-premises, Perry said. Costs include opex and capex for IT infrastructure – servers, storage and networking – as well as the facilities that contain it.

“It still is dirt cheap to go to the cloud, but to stay in the cloud, that’s a whole other story,” he told me in a phone interview.

While some companies manage their cloud costs well, unexpected growth, a massive new project or a new division coming online can make cloud costs unwieldy, Perry said.

Another factor that’s playing into the continued data center investment is the “cloudification” of on-premises IT infrastructure. Converged infrastructure has enabled companies to reach greater levels of agility, flexibility, and cost control, Perry said, adding that hyperconverged infrastructure boosts that trend.

Data center skills shortage

While organizations continue to invest their on-premises IT infrastructure and facilities, they’re running into staffing challenges, 451 Research found. Twenty-nine percent face a skills shortage when trying to find qualified data center and facilities personnel, Perry said.

As companies are shifting away from traditional IT architectures to converged and hyperconverged infrastructure, demand for IT generalists has grown, he said. “Specialists are still critical in on-prem environments, but we’ve definitely seen the rise of the generalist…There’s a lot of training going on internally in organizations to bring their specialists to a generalist level.”

Of the 29% facing staffing challenges, a majority (60%) are focused on training existing staff to fill the gaps. Those attending the training tend to be server and storage administrators, 451 Research found. “There’s a certain sense of fear that they’re going to become siloed and potentially irrelevant,” Perry said. “At the same time, there’s a lot of excitement about these newer architectures and software-defined technologies.”

Companies cited a big skills gap in the areas of virtualization and containers, technologies companies view as transformative to their on-premises infrastructure, he said. They’re also key technologies to facilitate the continued enterprise focus on data center consolidation.

“The jump in cloud has had an impact on IT staffing overall,” Perry said. “A lot of cloud service providers have scooped up a ton of good IT talent. That’s not just Tier 1 cloud providers, but also Tier 2…They’re pulling away skilled IT staff and leaving gaps for on-prem.”

A separate 451 Research report that looked into enterprise server and converged infrastructure trends found that VM administration was the top skill enterprises have trouble finding. A third of organizations reported a networking skills gap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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