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Journey to the software-defined data centre

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Kathy Gibson at Fujitsu World Tour, Bryanston — The software-defined data centre (SDDC) has been the CIO’s goal for a couple of years now – and now the elements are all in place to make it a reality.
When it comes to the SDDC, integrated systems are key, says Craig Parker, head of integrated systems: EMEIA at Fujitsu.
“They are pre-configured, pre-tested systems that are built in the factory and include everything that organisations need to build a SDDC.”
Digital business is shifting from a future strategic vision by IT leaders and digital leaders to providing a real competitive edge.
“It is here today, and customers are leveraging our technologies to give them clear competitive advantage,” Parker says.
A recent bold statement said that banks must adapt to the digital age or they will die.
Parker points out that 94,4% of young people have smartphones and they want to do mobile banking.
Studies show that mobile banking customers feel more in control of their finances.
However, the cost of legacy infrastructure, legal regulation and legal structures make it difficult for traditional banks to move to digital.
The examples of how industries are becoming redundant carries on, he adds, with organisations in all sectors feeling the heat.
Driven by cloud, big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile, data centres are in transition.
“But is not an easy thing to do, especially if you have a hardware-enabled data centre,” Parker says. “This is not something you can just layer over an old data centre.”
The SDDC offers fully-virtualised infrastructure that is automated and policy driven, and it is ready to move to hybrid cloud.
The challenge lies in making SDDC happen, Parker says. “You can do it yourself — but it’s not easy. It is error-prone, time-consuming, risky and expensive.”
Fujitsu’s integrated systems help by doing all of the integration and testing so the customer doesn’t have to.
“A large part of what we do is reduce risk and help the customer do rapid deployment.”
The product line is PrimeFlex and offers systems that help customers quickly deploy solutions, virtualisation, private cloud, SAP and big data.
In virtualisation, the entry level product is cluster-in-a-box, then Storage Spaces Direct and then VMware vSAN.
vShape and VMware Cloud Foundation are big-ticket solutions that offer virtualisation as well as private cloud.
PrimeFlex for VMware Cloud Foundation integrates network virtualisation with server and storage virtualisation. It is one of only four strategic products for VMware, and is the basis for VMware’s future direction.
“Not many people are taking this approach,” says Parker. “This is a big boy solution, with literally hundreds of cores.”
PrimeFlex for VMware Cloud Foundation is going into general availability in October and customers can start ordering now
PrimeFlex for OpenStack is another private cloud solution that is available for Red Hat and Suse platforms.
Customers have reported huge performance improvements, easier management, power education, opex reduction and capex saving, lower operating costs and accelerated business processes.
Fujitsu adds to the way it eases SDDC for customers with the Enterprise Service Catalogue Manager.
This is a self-service portal for multi-tenants that is branded by the customer. It offers automated, provisioned and flexible billing.
Benefits include simplified service consumption, reduced administration and costs, and the ability to use new cloud services.
A unified application delivery platform is the next step, offering universal templating for any cloud.
“We are a services company, and run large environments, so automated blueprinting that is open and agile is important to make it easier to use and deploy these environments.”
Overall, Parker explains that Fujitsu can help customers to embrace and drive changes in thir own industries, to help them meet digitalisation challenges, and find solutions that fit their business.
“We have a portfolio that can help you start the journey and get to the fully software-defined data centre,” Parker says.