As the world becomes increasingly digital, our concept of technology is becoming more virtual. The march toward virtualization—whether around storage, server, OS, apps, or networks— has created as many new problems as it has solved old ones.
This is where the cloud becomes key infrastructure. Virtualization is software-led, but the data center will always be grounded in physical infrastructure of some kind. There is an adage in a new white paper by Raritan, Data Center Physical Realities in a Software-Defined and Virtualized World: Optimizing IT Infrastructures for Today's Business Demands that states, "Without hardware, there is not software." This should not be considered a limitation; in fact, it is a restriction that inspires innovation in physical hardware, driving architectural changes that make hardware more generally adaptable.
The paper looks at several areas affected by the physical realities of the data center, even as focus moves to the cloud and edge computing environments. Operational scale and agility/innovation are two of these areas worth exploration through the lens of composable infrastructure.
While working in the cloud and in edge facilities allows data to be moved more quickly than ever, with storage becoming increasingly adaptable, the physical elements of the data center should not be given short shrift. Management of these components cannot be neglected when considering the shifting landscape of virtualization. Ignore your hardware at your peril - at best, well-considered hardware enhances performance and, thus, business. At worst, failing to look at hardware in a forward-thinking fashion can destroy both potential growth and your business' bottom line.
Hardware, specifically the physical data center, affects business operations in several ways: the first is cost-savings— a goal that can be achieved with the right adaptable hardware and software solutions, namely composable infrastructure, which delivers adaptability beyond traditional virtualized solutions, reducing the need for virtualization at the bare-metal level.
Composable also takes care of another pressing issue: scalability. While hardware is often thought of as a secondary issue in our virtualization-centric world, we believe that scalability is something that must be built into the total hardware-software solution. Composable allows us to scale up in seconds in response to workload demand across the ubiquitous PCIe interface significantly reducing infrastructure response times compared to virtualized solutions.
At the core, this is our business: guaranteeing adaptability, performance, and growth for client data. This also speaks to one last point regarding the business impact of virtualization, discussed in the Raritan white paper: "Agility and Innovation." Again, these are words that define the mission of Liqid: Composable infrastructure enables agility and innovation in emerging verticals that are quickly becoming intertwined, such as edge computing being driven by IoT data that is being interpreted by artificial intelligence. This clears a path for future advancements in the data and data center space.
Working in the cloud makes having an integrated and scalable physical data center more important than ever. This point is stated clearly in the white paper, "As enterprises embrace cloud, data center integrity remains critical-and may become even more so-because uninterrupted access to external resources depends on healthy network infrastructure."
At Liqid, we are ready to facilitate the next step for the data center as business needs change and AI-driven applications are demanding more adaptive access to data that is being generated at astounding volumes that must be understood in order to be useful.