Cloud and Infrastructure Agility: Insights from the 2017 Gartner Data Center Conference

Cloud and Infrastructure Agility: Insights from the 2017 Gartner Data Center Conference

By Dave Fredricks | Data Center Infrastructure Architect

Gartner again delivered another spectacular conference in Las Vegas this year, filled with many tracks to meet today’s relevant topics, as well as informational sessions directed specifically at different categories in the data center space.

The top five tracks identified by Gartner for 2017 are:

  • Cloud Strategies
  • Multi-Source Multi-Location Data Center
  • Reinvigorating the Core
  • Infrastructure Agility
  • IT Operations and DevOps

Of the top five tracks, I focused my attention mostly on the cloud and infrastructure agility viewpoints. I learned a lot and engaged in a number of truly meaningful discussion on these points.

The Cloud

The most talked about topic at the Gartner conference was definitely the cloud. As workers in IT, we all know "the cloud" means many different things to many people. Gartner’s message this year was aimed more at end user applications.

According to Gartner, by 2020, 80% of all mid-level sized companies and larger, will have some applications in the cloud.

But the question left unanswered is what percentage of end users' computing will actually be in the cloud. Regardless, I can say that my colleagues and I had several conversations with conference attendees about the variety of applications we provide to form the foundation for companies wanting to work in the cloud.

The question will not be easily answered and time will tell. Will the benefits begin to outweigh the risks enough that more significant percentages of applications will move to the cloud?

Infrastructure Agility

Another topic discussed at this Gartner conference was infrastructure agility. Infrastructure agility is a move in the data center space to programmable infrastructure that best matches users' computing needs to the software running on their equipment. As we've seen in the data center, one size does not fit all by any means. As time moves forward a hybrid approach in the data center will best serve the mission.

My colleagues and I fielded a lot of questions about how to relate cabling with infrastructure agility. CABLExpress has an answer.

We call it the multi-path™ system. Most data centers today have several generations of equipment running legacy applications and those applications might also support hyperconverged or converged systems. This can be a challenge.

Some could be running Apache Hadoop systems to process large chunks of data. Some might have servers connected to a SAN Director or storage could be managed by Ethernet protocols with flash drives located in each compute cabinet.

Addressing all the different equipment and processes in the data center and connecting them all together is a complex task. Here is where a multi-path solution comes into play.

A Multi-Path™ Solution for Infrastructure Agility

This structured cabling system takes the best components of the TIA-568.3-D Optical Fiber Cabling and Components Standard and creates a structured cabling design to best meet today's and the next generation of optics. It has a road map to support any optic in the market and the ability to break the signal out.

In addition, it supports speeds of 10G to 400G. It works with both multimode and singlemode glass and doesn’t infringe on intellectual property owned by two of the large cabling vendors.

Infrastructure agility with the multi-path system gives the data center operator the ability to support multiple generations of equipment and legacy applications with a guide to the next generation of transceivers. It increases ROI and makes connectivity a value asset instead of a cost center. It can support the idea of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

CABLExpress is a consistent exhibitor at this Gartner conference. Last year bimodal IT was the hot topic and the year before that it was hyperconvegence.

Whatever the hot topic is, we want work directly with you to tailor solutions that are ideal for your specific circumstances. And we’ll take your needs and insight into account to help drive and inspire our innovative product solutions.


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