The world of Hybrid IT has big implications for the data centre. Today’s legacy data centres simply aren’t fit for purpose when it comes to supporting the new pace of business and providing the flexibility, agility and security an organisation needs.

Managing and operating an in-house data centre in the Hybrid IT world needs new skills and approaches, and the demands will change as the mix between legacy and cloud evolves over time.

If we want to enable the legacy data centre to join the digital world of fast IT, it’s time for a rethink.

The answer lies in Hybrid IT, which blends the best of the cloud and traditional infrastructure to give organisations the flexibility to evolve with changing business needs. In this post, we wanted to explore how organisations can make that vision a reality.

Starting from ground zero

Legacy data centres have become something of a millstone for many organisations. In an era of cloud, they simply aren’t fit for purpose: costly to run, inefficient, and not nearly flexible enough to support rapidly evolving business needs.

But as more and more cloud is deployed within a business, and workloads are moved online, the traditional data centre begins to be hollowed out like a Swiss cheese.

However, for large traditional enterprises, the data centre cannot simply fade into the background. There are applications that are either too expensive or inappropriate to migrate to the cloud.

Data centres will need to play a key role in the provisioning of IT alongside the cloud – but optimised for the hybrid world. It means data centres will need to become significantly more cloud-like in the way they are run.

That requires a lot more orchestration, automation and consolidation of infrastructure inside the data centre. This is to improve operational costs, along with a lot more flexibility to provision and de-provision services rapidly, and on demand.

This is true of all types of systems found in current data centres – including servers, storage, networks, and building management systems. Put simply, the static behemoth of the data centre will need to transform into a dynamic entity, which can respond to business change in a timely fashion.

Inefficient legacy data centres are also an obvious target for driving out cost in the immediate term. This is either through optimising an in-house data centre, or one that is hosted in conjunction with the cloud.

What does good look like?

Having the right balance of an optimised data centre and traditional IT alongside public and private cloud is the optimum model in Hybrid IT.

This enables an organisation (and its CIO) to provide users with enough choice to procure IT services for whatever they need in a fast and flexible way. Using a Hybrid IT model also means this is done in a robust, controlled, and secure environment.

As an added bonus, Hybrid IT also addresses the challenge of shadow IT. This is where business users and units bypass the IT organisation and go directly to the cloud to procure the applications and services they want.

Hybrid IT can help regain that control, without stamping out innovation. In fact, it only enables it further.

Getting the Hybrid IT recipe right

The ‘special sauce’ for bringing a legacy data centre into the cloud era comes from the connectivity that can make the conceptual data centre a reality.

Another key ingredient lies with how Hybrid IT is managed and orchestrated, given the multiple-supplier ecosystem of the ‘New World’ data centre.

We say in order to make this happen, a big task for the CIO comes in the form of speaking the right language to the board.

Helpfully, Hybrid IT speaks to their demands, in terms of seeing clear business benefits. It removes the inefficiencies of the old data centre, drives out cost and lowers TCO.

The optimised infrastructure also gives the business the agility and speed it needs to compete in the digital world, enabling it to respond rapidly to customer needs, changes in the market or business drivers such as merger and acquisition.

Businesses get the best of both worlds with Hybrid IT. It’s the best of traditional IT now fully optimised, run at the best cost point and protecting strategic or valuable workloads and data. This is all in conjunction with all the benefits of the cloud in terms of flexibility, scalability, innovation and cost.

The future for the data centre is bright in a Hybrid IT world.

Want to find out more about data centres in the Hybrid IT world? Check out Fujitsu’s free white paper here.

Mark Phillips

Words by

Mark is responsible for leading Fujitsu’s Hybrid IT business across the EMEIA region. This is focused on the optimisation and orchestration of cloud/digitally enabled platforms and traditional IT environments to provide sustainable competitive advantage for private sector customers and joined up government for those in the public sector.

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