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Data is at the heart of your business success

The data circulatory system 

Data is the lifeblood of enterprise, flowing vital information through a network of IT veins and arteries to deliver resources exactly where they are needed. Like how innovations in medicine and nutrition have changed the way we live, advanced technologies like IoT, AI, machine learning, and increasingly sophisticated applications are necessitating change in where and how data lives and is processed. 

One of the largest impacts of these new technologies is the massive rise in the amount of data flowing through the system—increasingly generated at the edge. All this data is a gold mine of information about past business performance, assessment of current conditions, and projection of future trends. Yet most companies don’t have a clear view of their data, so they’re not able to take advantage of it. 

Centralization and security in the data center 

What’s blocking the ability to get maximum insight from data? Like blood flow limited by clogs in aging arteries, data flow and utilization are held back by legacy data center and IT infrastructure that wasn’t designed to handle the data volume and velocity from today’s cloud-native applications and workloads, compounded by security vulnerabilities in aging infrastructure. Secure and free-flowing data is the lynchpin on which future business success lies. 

To ensure this steady flow of secure data, a data center architectural shift needs to happen—one in which workloads are processed closer to where data is being created, to distribute intelligence to all edge locations. 

Many organizations are unprepared to make this shift, facing edges of siloed compute and storage that are connected via disjointed network architectures, with operating models that hinder centralized management, orchestration, security, and visibility. 

Fig. 1: Multigenerational, legacy IT is limiting enterprises’ ability to fully embrace cloud 

The data center of the future 

What’s needed is a new architectural approach, one that is edge-centric, cloud-enabled, and data-driven. A simple, fast, and secure cloud experience, packaged in a flexible consumption model—whether for traditional data centers, co-location sites, or new digital edges—is the hallmark of the data center of the future. 

To get there we must first turn to the network, the critical pathway where data is transported and secured on its way to be processed into business insight. The network is the connective fabric for all data, apps, and workloads—the perfect conduit to deliver the advanced network and security services necessary for today’s edge-to-cloud data center. Centralized, siloed legacy systems do not take advantage of the network in this way, severely limiting performance, scale, and security, and impacting application and user experience. But how do we move from legacy architectures and outdated operating models to the data center of tomorrow? 

A distributed services architecture delivers networking and security services through the network fabric, using automation to simplify and secure data operations at the service network layer edge—where applications are running. Decentralizing network and security functions from appliances and applications allows data traffic to flow freely through the system, optimizing network bandwidth, reducing complexity, eliminating centralized chokepoints and appliance sprawl, and enabling micro segmentation for improved security. This is the way of the future.  

That’s half the equation. These new distributed services technologies must be delivered in a fast, safe, and highly scalable way that addresses increasing data volume generated from disparate locations. The ability to consume infrastructure as-a-service is an essential requirement for new era data centers, ensuring services are extended, exactly where and when they are needed, whether at the edge, in a private data center, or at a co-location facility. Edge-to-cloud IaaS models offer additional benefits in the way of performance, data sovereignty, total cost of ownership, and sustainability. 


Fig. 2: Data-first digital transformation across edge to data center to cloud 

Data at the heart of business 

As data volumes continue to grow exponentially and data is increasingly generated at the edge, a shift from centralized data centers to more distributed ones is underway. New architectures, delivered via a flexible consumption model, ensure the secure flow of vital data required to make the informed, data-driven decisions upon which the future of business depends.  

Data is the lifeblood of business success, and the data center lies at the heart of it. It’s time to address outdated, legacy data center operating models that are clogging the system—with modern technology solutions that do just that.  

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