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you are likely to need applications that run on architecturally different server platforms. Each platform has its own characteristics that make them better suited to some applications rather than others. This is unlikely to fundamentally change for some time to come





defined data centre (SDDC) and software defined storage (SDS). These elements often combine virtualisation solutions and hardware management into a cohesive entity allowing you, at least in theory, to be able to manipulate the servers, storage and networking characteristics you deploy to support particular applications and services without physical intervention. (Figure 2)


The ultimate goal is for you to use tools that can modify the resources deployed automatically by policy to ensure service levels are maintained as usage changes. Until now much of the development of the server / SDDC side of things has been built around the x86 platform, which converged systems often utilised.


At the time of writing, SDDC systems are still in their infancy and have a long way to go before they offer you great opportunity to radically change your physical infrastructure. But even as they do mature, you will still need to face the fundamental question of whether your organisation could operate the wide range of services your users require with applications running only on x86 systems?


It is fair to assume that, at least in the short and medium terms, you are likely to need applications that run on architecturally different server platforms. Each platform has its own characteristics that make them better suited to some applications rather than others. This is unlikely to fundamentally change for some time to come.


Hence while you may well end up with flexible server pools, perhaps one with x86 systems and another running your


” Figure 2


UNIX systems, you will still have significant infrastructure heterogeneity. If you currently also run a mainframe, which is in most ways already a self-contained flexible resource platform, you are very likely still to be doing so in 5 years, maybe even in ten or twenty. I doubt we will see a server chipset monoculture anytime soon.


A similar argument stands when you look at your storage requirements. Some vendors maintain that all of your primary storage will migrate to running on Flash as prices fall and management technologies are enhanced. However, it is very unlikely that Flash and spinning disk will become equally priced for some time to come, if ever. And this


Reference [1] Creating the Storage Advantage. [2] A Vision for the Data Centre. Are you a Mover, Dreamer or Traditionalist? Available to download from www.freeformdynamics.com


12 www.dcsuk.info I February 2015


price difference will have an impact on the decisions you make when you acquire new storage.


Equally I also see a role for tape storage going forwards, even if only as a long term instrument to hold ‘cold’ or ‘archive’ data that you cannot delete but isn’t accessed regularly by your users.


The bottom line is to not to get caught up in industry rhetoric - trust your instincts. Always keep practicality and your own operational requirements and business agenda in mind when planning investments. I see different technologies being used in your data centres many years from now. Do you?


It is fair to assume that, at least in the short and medium terms,


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