How a composable infrastructure can be a key enabler of digital transformation

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Industry research firm IDC calls the new IT – characterised by use of mobile devices, cloud services, social networks and big data analytics — the third platform. Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a DXC Connect partner, says the new platform is driving the “idea economy” because, when done right, IT can facilitate the conversion of ideas into revenue-generating applications.

Enterprise IT is hindered by the data centre, the physical representation of many decisions made over many years, decisions made not necessarily with an eye on the future, but to respond to immediate needs and in the context of budgetary limitations.

As such, even though many of the businesses I see today run their applications on a variety of physical and virtualised platforms, the applications supporting the key lines of business typically cannot run on modern virtualised platforms because they are tied to physical hardware. In such an environment, how does IT respond to today’s business imperatives? How does IT deploy new applications quickly? How does IT support the sheer variety of platforms on shrinking budgets?

The idea economy

The idea economy is centred on data: where it’s stored, how it’s delivered, how it’s shared. Data must also align with regulatory compliance requirements. It must be protected (backed up). It must be secure. It is estimated that, by 2021, at least 50% of global GDP will be digitised, with growth in every business driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations, and relationships. Now add in the growing number of data sources: the Internet of Things, streaming video, emails, texts, other social media, mobile and web data.

There are real concerns about the ability of existing infrastructure and IT bandwidth to deal with such a vast amount of data. IT needs to re-think how to manage and govern data.

Composable infrastructure

Part of the solution to managing and governing vast amounts of data lies in composable infrastructure. The concept is simple. Composable uses software-defined intelligence to tell the infrastructure how to compose a combination of compute, storage and fabric to meet the needs of an application. In doing so, it can satisfy the needs of both traditional and cloud-native applications.

Composable infrastructure enables objectives that really begin to address the problem of data management and exploitation. These include:

  • Being able to deploy new applications quickly with simple flexing, scaling and updating
  • The ability to run workloads anywhere, on physical servers, on virtual servers, or even in containers
  • Operating any workload without concern about infrastructure resources or compatibility
  • Ensuring the infrastructure is able to provide the appropriate service levels to meet business objectives

The DevOps dimension

A substantial benefit of composable infrastructure is the way in which it enables DevOps.

DevOps has been described as “a cross-disciplinary community of practice dedicated to the study of building, evolving and operating rapidly-changing resilient systems at scale.” At its heart, DevOps is the act of collaboration between operations and development people in the service lifecycle, from design through the development process and to production support.

DevOps has emerged from the “agile” movement, agile being a term used to describe approaches to software development emphasising incremental delivery, team collaboration, continual planning, and continual learning. It emphasises the collaboration between operations and developers in addition to the business users.

Composable infrastructure makes it possible for DevOps to take agile to a new level. By simplifying the rapid deployment of a perfect combination of infrastructure resources, composable completes the toolset required to make businesses more agile and able to rapidly iterate around game-changing, data-intensive applications. This is a prime example of the kind of revolution that IT must undergo to become a business enablement organisation, not just an organisation of technical experts.


Mecci Oncel is the National Solutions Manager & HPE Practice Lead at DXC Connect

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