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Background for an IT study
Rapid advances in IT have accelerated change in industries through disruption and new business models. However, CIOs and IT personnel find it increasingly difficult to build infrastructure from scratch every time new software workloads are deployed.
IT leaders today want to be more strategic and relevant to the business, focusing on digital transformation by creating new user experiences, better data analytics, and deeper digital innovation around their products and services. Outdated or static technology keeps many IT providers in catch-up mode, updating and adjusting multiple variables that need to align, in their quest for an optimal solution, all the while struggling to compete in an ever-evolving IT marketplace.
Imagine a scenario where new workload based solutions can be readily procured, easily integrated with existing IT infrastructure, and can accommodate changes in technology versions at the software, operating environment, and hardware layers. IT operation is simplified, allowing for spend optimization and budget free-up. In an IDG study sponsored by Dell EMC and Intel, we confirmed the feedback we continue to hear from customers – pre-configured/pre-validated/Ready Solutions enable IT to do that!
IDG Study Shows More Interest in Pre-Configured/Pre-Validated Solutions
Pre-configured/pre-validated infrastructure can greatly reduce the demands on scarce IT resources by eliminating many tedious tasks within the design-build-deploy activities of IT infrastructure provisioning. Now freed up, these valuable IT resources can focus instead on activities that add real value to the organization, rather than dealing with repetitive, low-value tasks. Figure 1 summarizes the key results that IDG found from IT decision makers considering pre-configured/pre-validated “ready” solutions. What is interesting is that the speed to solution comes up as a top need – As IT moves up the value chain to tackle more business problems, time to deploy a solution is of the essence, as it has a direct correlation to the impact on the business.
The feedback we see in this survey is why Dell EMC continues to invest in and develop Ready Solutions – we recognize that our customers want to reduce deployment time and optimize time-to-revenue and time-to-value.
We are also focused on the higher value workloads where the payoff is considerably higher. One interesting finding of the study is that nearly half (49%) of respondents prefer pre-configured/pre-validated solutions over public cloud, due to security and privacy concerns, especially for mission critical workloads! Dell EMC’s Ready Solutions should be seen as optimized on-premise solutions, employing hybrid and native cloud technologies where appropriate, for their desired advantages.
Figure 1: IDG survey on why IT decision makers are considering pre-configured/pre-validated “ready” solutions
IDG Study Findings on Benefits of Pre-configured/Pre-validated/Ready Solutions
The IDG study also evaluated how pre-configured/pre-validated IT infrastructure like the Dell EMC Ready Solutions deliver compelling benefits. This is summarized in Figure 2.
Figure 2: IDG findings on the compelling benefits of Dell EMC Ready Solutions powered by Intel
In our approach, we focus on 3 levels of granularity within Ready Solutions:
1. Ready Nodes: These are certified and validated server nodes for a specific workload with Pre-configured firmware, drivers and/or software, and contextual support for the node.
2. Ready Bundles: These are optimized bundles of hardware, software and services for a specific workload, with pre-configured firmware, drivers and/or software, and contextual support for the bundled components.
3. Ready Systems: These are workload solutions around our Racks, Rails, and Block level converged infrastructure offerings.
Speed to Solution and Faster Deployment
In the Dell EMC approach we aim for a significant reduction in the number of manual steps to deploy the solution. The Dell EMC Ready System for SAP HANA on VxBlock is an excellent example of how implementations can be accelerated. In a customer example, installation and setup of the block systems took half the time compared to deploying a traditional x86 server environment, networking equipment, and storage to meet the SAP Application Performance Standard (SAPS). Additionally, the time to migrate SAP applications was much faster due to the unique architecture of the block system.
In the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Virtualization, as another example, Dell EMC System Builder provides a user interface that asks key questions about what the customer is trying to accomplish, including IT policies, configuration needs and workload requirements Based on these requirements and preferences, a tailored yet validated solution that includes hardware, software and all services can be very quickly created.
Reliability and continuity: A good example here isthe Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Virtualization. It goes through a rigorous validation by Dell EMC engineers so the system works as designed. As a pre-validated solution, it eliminates the guesswork by providing recommended configurations specifically tailored to customer needs. Since the configurations are designed with an assumption that disruptions are bound to happen, they are tested for failures at every level so that they have enough capacity to account for failures when they do occur.
Venkat Venkataraman is Director of Ready Solutions and Alliances Marketing at Dell EMC and manages multiple marketing programs. Follow him on twitter: @venkat1010