Delivering Transformational


Digital transformation (DX) — an evolution toward more data-centric business models —is an essential mandate for businesses to thrive in a digital economy. Organizations embark on DX initiatives to create value and extend their competitive advantage through new products and services, new business relationships, improved customer experiences, and increased operational efficiencies. In a recent survey of 900 IT executives and practitioners, (IDC’s Modernized Infrastructure Survey, 2020)IDC found that 70% of organizations worldwide are well into their DX journey.

Much of DX relies on data gathering via strategic workloads that deliver time to value in a significantly compressed time frame. Strategic workloads drive competitive differentiation for DX. In the survey, respondents identified collaborative applications, IT infrastructure, and business applications as critical to their business. Respondents also said they expected to add structured and unstructured data management and analytics workloads to support their business’digital transformation initiatives over the next 24 months.

Furthermore, IDC’s survey found that 91% of respondents considered modernized infrastructure and/or an accompanying technology refresh to be extremely important to the success of DX. Computing platforms (servers) form a key underpinning of modern infrastructure supporting an organization’s digital journey. They support the stringent availability, performance, and security requirements, which can be satisfied via a modern server infrastructure.

According to IDC, the right way to go about modernizing infrastructure is to realize the future is about hybrid cloud; implement a hybrid cloud strategy that includes private, public, and edge clouds; and then decide on where workloads should be placed based on those three deployment models.

Determining Optimal Workload Placement

A modern server infrastructure enables organizations to host strategic and/or mission-critical workloads where they are needed the most: on-premises as part of the hybrid cloud infrastructure. For other organizations, a modern server infrastructure is a matter of meeting stringent regulatory mandates by choosing to anchor their infrastructure on-premises or the ability to control their consumption of public cloud resources using an on-premises control plane.

For several respondents, the shift to increased on-premises investments is driven by public cloud repatriation.IDC found that 60% of surveyed organizations repatriated because of security challenges while 42% did so because they could host their modernized infrastructure in-house in a cost-effective, efficient,and scalable manner. Respondents also cited inconsistency in service quality and cost variability and/or unpredictability of a public cloud service as reasons for repatriating from the cloud.

IDC also found that nearly 89% of respondents have plans to deploy an on-premises private cloud infrastructure in the next 12 months. Organizations seek a cost-effective, efficient, and scalable in-house modernized infrastructure. They are keen to refresh their infrastructure using a flexible as-a-service pricing model in order to align expenditure more closely with actual usage and/or consumption.

Server technologies are foundational and influence the outcomes of other infrastructure investments. IDC found that organizations consider cybersecurity capabilities, cloud-based data protection capabilities for cloud-based workloads, and accelerated compute and solid-state storage as the top technology investments to leverage in a modernized infrastructure. All of the previously mentioned technologies require a robust compute infrastructure that delivers consistent service quality to the workloads running on it.

IDC research also indicates that organizations consider security, performance, management preferences (ease of management), and availability to be the top factors influencing workload placement decisions. Organizations said they specifically focus on workload requirements when considering the placement of these workloads.

The performance and availability characteristics of servers are determined by server form factors, and hence form factors are crucial to workload optimization. Organizations prefer servers with built-in failover capabilities for their strategic workloads —workloads that they consider to be essential for their business mandate. IDC found that nearly 40% of surveyed organizations deploy standalone blades or multinode servers for their strategic workloads while only 22.5% deploy such workloads on single-node servers. IDC’s research shows that generally speaking, single-node and rack-optimized form factors are best suited for scale-out workloads that use cloud-native application approaches.

It is imperative that organizations consider the modernization of server infrastructure in lockstep with storage, data protection, security, and networking infrastructure. Like the tiles of a Tetris puzzle, these infrastructure domains operate in an interdependent manner. Further, validated, certified solutions and purpose-built, full-stack integration can fully relieve the burden of missteps and reduce deployment time. These solutions provide organizations with a solid foundation for accelerating their DX journey and achieving competitive differentiation.

Drivers of Server Infrastructure Refresh

Modern IT organizations upgrade their server infrastructure on a regular three-to-five-year cadence. However, DX is a business-critical imperative that cannot wait for this cadence. IDC found that 67% of respondents plan server refreshes specifically as part of their DX journey.

IT organizations are generally open to working with a vendor that makes the extra effort to make the key influencers and buyers aware of the build integrity and strongly affirm the need for individuals and teams involved in making or influencing purchasing decisions to be fully aware of the vendor’s build process.

Furthermore, IT organizations must hold vendors to high standards when it comes to the ability of the vendor to stand behind its product with an equally competent support and services organization. Ultimately, IT organizations are accountable for maintaining the service quality of their IT infrastructure. The reliance on a trusted vendor goes a long way in achieving this goal.

Modernizing Server Infrastructure with Dell Technologies Solutions

Dell Technologies is a leading provider of enterprise IT products and services. The vendor’s extensive enterprise technology portfolio includes Dell Technologies, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and VMware, with solutions that span cloud software, servers, storage, data protection, networking, converged and hyper-converged infrastructure, and software-defined datacenter and cloud platforms as well as enterprise infrastructure software in the virtualization, storage, security, and data protection markets. In the enterprise server market, the vendor’s portfolio consists of various form factors designed to serve a variety of performance- and capacity-optimized workloads that enterprises rely on for their DX journey. Dell Technologies is a market leader in the infrastructure systems and platforms, converged/hyper-converged systems, and infrastructure software platforms markets.

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Delivering Transformational Outcomes with Modern Server Infrastructure


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