Unification: A Gradual EvolutionBy Sharon Linsenbach | Print
Cisco Systems and solution providers believe demand for unified data centers will accelerate as technology and designs mature. Value, they say, will come from designing efficient, lasting computing infrastructures.
The path to a wholly unified network will be gradual, Middleton says, so while Cisco forges ahead, he’s focused for now on helping customers design and build networks that are smarter, faster and more efficient.
John Growdon, director of Cisco’s Go to Market Technology, Worldwide Channels group at Cisco, says easing customers into a unified strategy will help them achieve growth and efficiency now, and also help prepare them and Cisco’s solution providers for new technology enhancements still to come.
"It’s about buying [customers] enough time with the infrastructure they already have as well as preparing them and the solution providers that service them for enterprise class networking, data center and cloud computing services on those infrastructure investments," says Gourlay.
The data center is a key area where solution providers can do both, says Gourlay, since the data center is hardly ever seen as a discretionary expense, even in today’s economy.
"Data centers are a $200 million black hole of cash–they are not cheap, there’s a huge initial expense of frontloaded capital that’s expected to last 10 to 15 years," Gourlay says. The reality, however, is that the IT assets that go inside a data center are rendered obsolete about every five years, putting companies in a bind.
"Every five years, that $200 million building you built is unusable, or at least not usable in the capacity you need it to be," says Gourlay.
By leveraging consolidation and virtualization, Growdon says solution providers can deliver 30 percent more compute power from servers while reducing end user’s power expenditures, infrastructure and other physical costs. These kinds of efficiencies can help solution providers and customers drive new business opportunities now and pave the way for future investments, he says.
This pragmatic approach to these technologies doesn’t disrupt customers’ existing business and also helps to create efficiencies and savings and to drive new business, he says.
"Rip-and-replace isn’t the way to go – but in areas where customers are looking at growth opportunities and making new infrastructure investments anyway, here’s how partners can help them achieve that by implementing new technologies," says Gourlay.