Given how much I’ve blogged about TCO, that title might surprise some. Refreshing is about doing the same as before just faster. Modernizing is doing things differently in how you operate, manage, and consume your infrastructure. Just like refreshing, there are obvious TCO benefits that you will get by modernizing: simplification through server consolidation due to increased performance and the financial impact of consolidation (reductions in OpEx (power, cooling, warranty, software licenses) and administrative overhead). As far back as 2013 I was extolling the benefits of server refreshes. I want to give you some other things to consider when it comes to modernization that I believe are more beneficial than TCO.
Always top of mind for me is reliability and the impacts of being down. In conversations with Intel, I learned the current average age of a server is between five and seven years. Given studies have shown that failure rates increase in year four and continue to rise, this is a big concern. When you couple that fact with ITIC’s 11th annual Hourly Cost of Downtime Survey, stating that for SMB to Enterprise size firms, downtime can cost $100,000 or more per hour in lost revenue, lost end user productivity, and direct IT costs, it is something that should be addressed. A single down time event avoided could pay for a technology refresh. This doesn’t even consider the potential loss in customer goodwill. Reliability is not just about new hardware. You need a modern way of proactively managing your servers allowing you to respond with tools and automation. Do you receive proactive notifications of capacity constraints or potential hardware issues? Can your management tool automatically adjust resource allocations or open a trouble ticket with the vendor?
Both AMD and Intel have enhanced security features in their CPUs. These range from mitigations from side-channel attacks, memory encryption, to performance improvements of industry standard algorithms and ciphers. Server vendors like Cisco have also been steadily adding security features like hardware roots of trust, secure booting, and anti-counterfeiting technologies. None of this is a panacea and you must think about your management environment and how it can help bolster a modern, secure environment. Do your tools support multifactor authentication (MFA), SSO, and have they received ISO/IEC 27001:201 certification?
Modern architectures for today’s business challenges
Many years ago, the only question to be answered about how and where an application will be deployed was virtualization. Now you must think hybrid cloud, private cloud, public cloud, whose public cloud, on-prem. If on on-prem is it converged infrastructure (CI), hyperconverged infrastructure, or bare metal. And don’t forget our old friend virtualization or our new friend containers, or virtualized containers.
The real question is, can your current server infrastructure deliver the performance, flexibility, and agility you need for your business. If not, it’s time to modernize. When you modernize, how will you automate it, optimize it, and manage it? Cisco Intersight™ is the answer to that trifecta and the number one reason to modernize on Cisco hybrid cloud infrastructure.
Intersight is a modern, cloud operations and management platform. It is a transformational way to support the scale and pace you need to operate today. Adopting Intersight today means you’re ready for the future.
At its core is Intersight Infrastructure Service. IIS is how you deploy, monitor, and manage your UCS and HyperFlex servers plus your converged infrastructure. But Intersight is platform. Through Intersight Workload Optimizer, you can ensure your applications are always at peak performance. IWO uses AI powered analytics for real time optimization and allows for what-if scenario modeling. It works for both your on-prem and cloud applications. Intersight Orchestrator is a framework to create and execute complex workflows. It includes the ability to deploy and manage the Pure Storage, NetApp, and Hitachi parts of our CI offerings. It integrates with VMware’s vCenter, Microsoft’s Hyper-V, as well as ServiceNow with an ITSM plugin. Intersight Kubernetes Service simplifies the building and managing your Kubernetes environments. There were 38 separate feature releases in 2020 with more to come soon.
Start your modernization journey today
If your servers are three years old or older, you should refresh. But when you refresh, don’t just do what you have been doing. Instead, think of to how modernize your whole approach to server operations, management, and consumption.
Follow the links in this blog to learn more about the various products and solutions from Cisco. Then reach out to your Cisco partner or contact your account team. Let Cisco help you meet your strategic business goals while modernizing your infrastructure, your operating model, and your consumption model.