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As data becomes the North Star for business objectives, companies need more than bigger spaces for their data to live within. They need integrated, thoughtful solutions that extract valuable insights from their data resources fast enough to respond, react and move proactively. 

With data collection and analysis rapidly evolving to fuel insights, machine learning, AI and increased user demands, modernizing how you store and access your data will shape your business future.  

Yet, storage can be an Achilles heel for businesses struggling with legacy infrastructure that's inflexible, siloed and impossible to automate within.  

Increasingly complex IT environments call for a more modern approach to infrastructure.

Advanced storage technologies that integrate well with hybrid cloud environments and new IT services will be the foundation of the modern data center.  

Enter the three pillars of modern data infrastructure: Storage, Cloud and Automation.

Software-defined infrastructure like Dell PowerFlex redefines each pillar to make consolidating your platform and modernizing your IT delivery simple and cost-effective.

Pillar 1: Storage doesn't have to be a pain.  

Evolve your storage from accruing capacity to capitalizing on opportunity. 

With an influx of data and a plethora of platforms, storage has become a major pain point for businesses. Difficulties include: 

  • Sprawl: Managing complex environments that range from legacy data centers to on-premise and hybrid multicloud
  • Migration: Bringing inflexible applications to the cloud efficiently and cost-effectively
  • Performance: Shared storage pools resources to increase efficiency. Project-based array acquisition eliminates these efficiencies, causing storage islands to form, creating isolated pockets of performance and capacity
  • Cost: Wasting resources because of siloed IT environments and lack of visibility

The first step to simplifying your environment is consolidating your applications and workloads into one common platform. 

To move your storage infrastructure away from acquiring more capacity and toward managing your resources effectively, you need a solution that focuses on maximizing your current environment without minimizing performance or compromising security.

A single unified, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) delivers industry-ready hardware designed to face the challenges of today's digital transformation coupled with the software you need to corral and manage your daily resources so you arrive at more agile IT. 

Consolidate to innovate - Three ways Dell PowerFlex solves the storage problem:  

  1. Supports heterogeneous workloads simultaneously. Say goodbye to infrastructure siloes
  2. Deploy systems with storage-only, compute-only and/or HCI nodes. Scale independently to match your investment with the business and technical needs
  3. Enables flexibility at the platform layer. Use the same simple infrastructure for future workloads, even as application or hypervisor needs change

Pillar 2: Make your data center cloud-capable.

Native cloud abilities are built into Dell PowerFlex, so you can easily integrate private and public clouds. 

With agility at the forefront of its development, Dell PowerFlex is ideal for high-value databases and private cloud deployments. By virtually eliminating the need for large-scale migrations, it becomes a foundational platform for organizations looking to modernize mission-critical applications.  

As organizations embrace containerization as an effective answer to the modern needs of native cloud applications, they require a cloud that can run with a more general-purpose ESX workload. Dell PowerFlex supports diverse workload needs, such as multiple operating systems, hypervisors and container orchestration platforms, distinct scaling needs and specific data services.  

Since Dell PowerFlex can be deployed natively into the public cloud, you can enable data services that don't exist in the cloud today and complete mobility for your data between your data center and your cloud environments. With Dell PowerFlex, you know your infrastructure can handle more demanding workloads like databases, bare metal workloads and container workloads, all simultaneously.  

As you innovate your workloads, consider working with a third-party advisor, like World Wide Technology, with proven data center, storage and cloud migration expertise. This can help you formulate a plan, so you know exactly how your infrastructure will respond.  

WWT's Advanced Technology Center (ATC) gives you hands-on access to run a proof of concept on your storage platform prior to installation. You'll interact directly with expert solution architects that can provide product comparisons and recommendations based on your performance requirements, business objectives and future goals.  

Let's talk numbers - When future-proofing your organization's IT, it can be shortsighted to focus only on cost. Dell PowerFlex's business value is cost-effective in the long term: 

  • 70% more efficient IT team
  • 47% reduced total cost of operations
  • 321% 5-year ROI

Pillar 3: Automation is the best way forward. 

With a simplified environment that integrates seamlessly, optimizing your performance raises your IT infrastructure from a business cost up to a business value. 

When organizations require more performance than a single array can handle, they adopt specialized platforms to deliver higher performance. Then, to keep up with industry trends, they add general platforms intending to cut costs on top of new and emerging workloads, vendors and providers.  

They end up in a complex environment with a tangled web of siloed infrastructure they cannot manage. 

The result is poor-performing applications and stranded resources costing you money, making it challenging to deliver on your SLAs. Instead, Dell PowerFlex allows you to easily automate your processes so you can provide consistent performance without added cost. 

Dell PowerFlex also comes with options for extended graphics processing units (GPUs) to execute artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) workloads, taking the complexity out of your innovation.  

Plus, resiliency and security compliance are built directly into the platform, so you can expand your environment without worrying if your valuable data or workloads are protected. 

Cyber event operational recovery—security built right in.
In a cloud-first culture, security is at the core of every business decision.  

Innate to the platform, next-generation recovery abilities simplify your organization's operational recovery so that you won't lose time, business or money in the event of a cyberattack. With Dell PowerFlex, you restore to a known-good state as quickly as possible, never worry about downtime or data loss and comply with state and federal security laws and regulations.  

To get the most out of Dell PowerFlex's unique cyber security solutions, consider working with experts at WWT to fully integrate operational recovery initiatives into your IT environment.  

Your modern IT infrastructure. One single platform.

Ready or not, enterprises are being propelled into the modern world, a highly-optimized landscape that requires boundless agility for your applications and unprecedented, high-performing workloads.  

To thrive, you need—not just modern—but simple, scalable and secure infrastructure managed in one unified platform. 

Learn more about WWT and Dell Primary Storage Explore


About the authors 

John Lochausen, Solutions Architect, World Wide Technology

John Lochausen is a technical solutions architect for World Wide Technology. Starting in IT in 2005, he has focused on primary storage since 2006, including the host OS side of storage administration. John enjoys discussing new storage technologies with customers and helping them utilize their storage to solve data challenges. He brings a practical mindset to meet customers where they are and helps them build an environment with best practice guidelines. He spent ten years managing multi-site enterprise storage environments with significant experience with Unix, Linux, and Windows storage provisioning. John has extensive Fibre Channel experience with departmental and director-class switching and FCIP SAN extension. After being a storage admin, he worked for seven years in enterprise technical presales for a major storage OEM, the last four of which were in a specialty role focused on primary block storage.

Anthony Cinelli, Sr. Director, Global Converged & Hyperconverged Sales & Strategic Pursuits, Dell Technologies

Anthony Cinelli has worked in a wide array of roles at Dell Technologies for 12+ years. He is currently focused on helping customers understand how to use Dell PowerFlex to revolutionize their organizations' modern IT infrastructure.

About WWT & Dell Technologies 
As Dell Tech's first-ever Titanium Black partner, WWT leverages more than 25 years of partnership expertise to design, test and deliver best-in-class, integrated solutions that accelerate digital transformation and drive our customers' businesses forward. Together, WWT and Dell Technologies (formerly Dell EMC) help businesses become industry leaders by harnessing the key drivers of transformation and innovation across solution areas that include IT infrastructure, digital workforce and security.