Today’s IT departments are faced with fighting a war on multiple fronts. On the first front, they have the demand from their leaders, as well as from new users, to provide a cloud-native platform for next-generation applications, microservices, artificial intelligence inferencing and data pipelines that will power their companies for the next five to seven years. On a second front, they have the legacy traditional IT that is still critical in day-to-day operations in the present. At the same time, the physical location of these battles may be in their datacenter (core), in someone else’s datacenter (cloud) or even out in a location with limited IT (edge).
Many infrastructure solutions are available to handle either side of this war in each physical location. However, more and more, organizations are choosing to address the battle with a solution that allows all needs to be met simultaneously in all locations.
Cloud-native applications require modern infrastructure, and the needs of cloud-native teams range from containers-as-a-service (CaaS) to platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and even into functions-as-a-service (FaaS). IT departments need to be able to provide all three of these new cloud-native primitives to their users in accordance with their skillsets, technology and business requirements.
For example, for CaaS needs, developers will want to provide containers and say, “Run this set of containers for me, I don’t need to know how.” For PaaS, they will provide source code, and for FaaS, they’ll bring singular functions ― “Transform this variable,” “Calculate this value from this machine-learning model” or “Update this record in the database” ― each with similar ambivalence around how the services are provided.
Traditional IT needs
However, at the same time they are serving their cloud-native team’s needs, IT departments cannot turn a blind eye to the needs of traditional IT infrastructure. Traditional IT applications are well-known, and their infrastructure is well-understood. These are the application servers and databases that are powering our current platforms, which pay the bills and keep the lights on today.
The vast majority of traditional IT workloads are already virtualized. However, they are still relatively monolithic. These workloads require the high availability and load-balancing services that hypervisors like VMWare provide.
A winning strategy
Consolidating the infrastructure for both traditional and cloud-native needs is a winning strategy. Your IT department has already made investments in the virtualization infrastructure and operations for your traditional IT workloads. So, why not leverage the same type of infrastructure for cloud-native needs?
Ensuring consistent infrastructure, consistent operations and consistent services across all your workloads in all the locations where they are needed is a reality today with solutions such as the Dell Technologies Cloud Platform (DTCP). DTCP solutions use VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) software to abstract away the underlying hardware and the location it’s running in. This VCF “dial-tone” can then be the foundation in which you can layer the cloud-native services of Pivotal Container Service (PKS), Pivotal Application Service (PAS), or even the new Pivotal Function Service (PFS).
On an infrastructure level, this capability allows teams to share pooled CPU resources, memory and storage capacity, and to more efficiently pool investments like accelerator cards, Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory and NVMe storage. At the operations level, you capitalize on existing investments in training, processes and procedures to administer the software-defined datacenter via VMWare’s ESX, VirtualCenter, vSAN, NSX® Data Center and vRealize Suite. There is no need to re-train teams or to adapt policies due to limitations when using infrastructure in “cloud A” or “cloud B”.
To learn more
Seeing is believing in this case, and you can set up an engagement in one of Dell Technologies 19 global Customer Solution Centers at no charge. I encourage you to bring your technical teams in and hear about all that can be done to arm you with the best possible solution to help you transform your organization.
Kris Applegate, is a senior solutions consult in the Dell Technologies Customer Solution Centers.