Why is Agility in the Data Center Today’s New Normal?

Whether you are offering shoes or satellites, your customers demand a consistent and contextual experience when interacting with your business.  Digital transformation is here, and cannot be ignored. This transformation is rooted in technology, and its use will increase the pace of innovation, and drive competitive advantage.

There is no single metric to quantify digital transformation, but “agility” is often cited, and is the most coveted of the bunch. Data centers need to be very agile to support these initiatives. The 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Networking states, “As enterprises scale digital business initiatives, they must balance refreshing equipment and expanding capacity, while improving agility and maintaining uptime in their data center networks.

So, the question then is, how do you make organizations more agile? And the answer lies in automation and visibility.

Automation and Visibility Across Domains

Automation and visibility are the flip sides of the same coin, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Customers Need Agility at all Layers, and Across All Domains

Without pervasive visibility (for example, the run-time state of infrastructure, resource usage, and payload patterns) you eventually run the risk of automating yourself into trouble, taking actions where the required resources are simply unavailable. Similarly, if you implement visibility without automation, you end up with lots of data with no practical way to act upon the insights gained from this data–sure you can act on it manually, but not in real time or easily enough to bring about agility.

Once the relationship between automation and visibility is understood, the next step is to look at your network in terms of new layers (beyond TCP/IP and the OSI model). The network is not just a collection of devices and applications, but is also layers upon layers of capabilities and functions: from forwarding ASICs to orchestration systems, implemented across silicon and software.

Concurrently, the network is only one domain of technology; any organization will have many more: compute, storage, applications, OSS/BSS, ticketing, billing–and the list goes on. And do what you must, but do not ignore culture! CEOs recognize that any successful transformation must include people, processes and policy.

As organizations embark on the journey to digital transformation, they must investigate (through visibility) and act (through automation) at all layers, and consider domains of technology and culture. For more information, read my blog Visibility and Automation in Concert.

Getting Started from Wherever You Are

Most organizations feel hamstrung by the skills and resources that they have available internally. Technology and business leaders grapple daily with these constraints. As vendors paint a utopian view of the future, rooted, of course, in their respective portfolios, organizations require technologies and components that are consumable, manageable, deployable, and maintainable. 

Most importantly, organizations need help taking the first few steps on this long journey of digital transformation. Vendors can help by providing components for automation and visibility that are deployable out of box, shortening the time-to-value and the minimizing the skillset required to get started. But these components must be customizable, so organizations can deploy “today” with confidence and customize “tomorrow” when their skills have evolved.

Extreme’s mission is to allow everyone to get started today, from wherever they are in terms of skills and requirements, and evolve from there. We believe in making technology componentized and consumable, all the while keeping it open and customizable.

What is Extreme’s Agile Data Center?

In this era of Digital Transformation and Cloud, operational agility and efficiency are critical for maintaining competitive advantage. Extreme’s software-driven data center solutions are optimized to help Enterprise and Cloud organizations meet these challenges. Extreme’s pervasive network visibility and cross-domain network lifecycle automation intelligently automates provisioning, troubleshooting, and remediation of network infrastructure to eliminate network and cross-function service delays. Meanwhile, Extreme adaptive ASIC platforms deliver continuous value today and for years to come. Extreme’s agile data center solutions enable organizations to break from the status quo and build stronger relationships with customers and partners to deliver better business outcomes.


Want to Know More?

Please visit Extreme’s agile data center networking page. Here, you can read more about our adaptive platform flexibility and cross domain automation. You can also learn about how Extreme uses visibility to drive intelligent automation.

Our fabric foundations include both Ethernet and IP Fabrics, all backed up by implementations that are detailed in Extreme Validated Designs.

Also, take a look at  the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Networking to see

  • Changes in the vendor landscape over the past year including how vendors are adapting and differentiating their solutions
  • Strengths and cautions for each of the vendors included in the report
  • Where and why Gartner positioned each vendor

Finally, consult your Extreme partner or account team representative for more information.

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