Software-Defined Data Centers Aren't Enough, Says Forrester

Enterprises should aim to create "business-defined data centers", according to IT analyst house Forrester Research.

Enterprises should aim to create "business-defined data centers", according to IT analyst house Forrester Research.

In recent years, there has been a big push towards software-defined data centres, which aim to improve overall data centre performance by optimising the application layer and the hypervisor layer.

However, Forrester argues that the business-defined data centre cares about real services as opposed to less important applications.

Speaking at the annual Fujitsu Forum event in Munich today, Rachel Dines, senior analyst at Forrester, said: "Software-defined was a good step but it doesn't go far enough. We want to think about order to cash, payroll, supply chain management. Actual business processes instead of [applications like] ERP and CRM and HCM and a million other acronyms."

Dines said this business-defined data centre can be delivered by deploying infrastructure that can serve a wide range of business applications as opposed to deploying specialised infrastructure for niche applications. "When I think about infrastructure and I see organisations getting into these heavy silos of infrastructure that is just one application, that makes me nervous," she said, adding that businesses should look to deploy 80 percent generic infrastructure and 20 percent specialised.

She also argued that enterprises need to automate as much of the data centre as possible, pointing out that data centre managers have been reluctant to automate up until now because they don't trust it.

"We've reached the point of complexity where we can't understand it," she said. "Virtualisation, mobility, agile development, cloud are all causing complexity to shoot upwards. We've gotten to the point where no matter how many people we throw at a problem it's beyond human scale and that's where automation can come in."

At the forum, Fujitsu launched a range of "business-centric" storage products that aim to deliver on many of the points raised by Dines.

For example, Fujitsu says the new-generation ETERNUS DX products, namely the Eternus DX S3 storage arrays and the Eternus Sf V16 system, are completely flexible and adaptable to users' business priorities, instead of allowing the technology to rule over its users.

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