Modern data centers contain the tools and assets that can power an enterprise in the digital age\u2014but only if these tools (applications) and assets (data) can be accessed. However, when apps can\u2019t be deployed or if data are siloed, an enterprise\u2019s technology can become a competitive disadvantage.\u00a0\nThe mobile and BYOD revolution, for example, theoretically allows employees to access data and apps from anywhere, thus enabling workers to be more productive and effective. But when mobile workers can\u2019t access applications or enterprise data, it can have a big impact on productivity, flexibility, and revenue.\u00a0\nEmployees suddenly may:\n\nNot be able to do their jobs efficiently (or at all)\nBe unable to collaborate remotely with colleagues and partners\nNeed to go into headquarters or a branch office to work\nLose potential sales in the field\n\nAll of these outcomes can have a negative impact on an enterprise\u2019s bottom line, as can unscheduled downtime, problems securing virtualized workloads, inability to manage big data (including data from the Internet of Things), and poor server management.\nThis puts tremendous pressure on IT to solve data center problems as quickly as possible. Without proper tools, however, IT pros can waste valuable time trying to locate the source of an issue, whether it\u2019s a user\u2019s device, a wireless network, a branch server, an on-premises data center, or a cloud deployment. And when it comes to protracted problems in the data center, time costs money.\nRather than relying on guesswork and a disparate set of tools that each offer only limited transparency into the network, IT pros are better served by using infrastructure management tools that can be integrated with and extend existing tools for monitoring, provisioning, and configuring server and application software.\nThe ideal data center infrastructure relies on a single platform that unifies \u00a0computing resources, networking infrastructure, data center management, and cloud deployments. Such a platform should enable IT professionals to automate and simplify management of the data center across servers, the network, and clouds.\nUnified infrastructure management allows IT to monitor the health status of domains, automate and standardize network and data center access, and manage operating systems, applications and servers. A unified computing infrastructure also saves money by reducing the number of servers in the data center through virtualization and consolidation of heavily used Microsoft enterprise applications like SQL, SharePoint, and Exchange.\nIn the case of a mobile worker unsuccessfully trying to access an application, an automated solution within a unified infrastructure could detect the failed attempts, locate the source of failure, and resolve the problem, saving time and requiring little or no human intervention.\nAs newer technologies such as cloud computing and virtualization become integrated with legacy systems, data center management has become more complex than ever. Using tools such as Cisco\u2019s Unified Computing System (UCS), along with Microsoft System Center and PowerShell, enterprises can simplify management, gain more transparency, identify and solve problems faster, scale to meet the needs of the business, and lower operating costs through greater efficiency.\nClick here for more information on how Cisco can provide the optimal infrastructure for data centers and Microsoft environments.