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The shift is on: From data centres to ‘centres of data’

The shift is on: From data centres to ‘centres of data’

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Michael Dickman, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, offers his best practice advice about how to prepare for a shift to the Edge and tells us why this new architectural approach – one that is Edge-centric, cloud-enabled and data-driven – is much-needed.

According to Gartner, ‘by 2025, 85% of infrastructure strategies will integrate on-premises, colocation, cloud and Edge delivery options, compared with 20% in 2020’. This is a significant architectural shift that will require workloads to be processed closer to where data is being created, across many Edge locations.

But as enterprise IT organisations make this shift, most are unprepared. Edges of siloed compute and storage are connected via disjointed network architectures, with operating models that hinder centralised management, orchestration, security and visibility. While the interconnections across Edges are increasingly solved with technologies like SD-WAN and SASE, overall IT operational simplicity remains a major problem.

“There’s no question that the data centre network must be reimagined and redesigned to account for the rise of the distributed data centre. All facets of the distributed data centre should undergo network modernisation to deliver the agility, flexibility, elastic scale, inherent security and simplified management that cloud requires,” said Brad Casemore, Research Vice President, Datacenter Networks, IDC.

What’s needed is a new architectural approach, one that is Edge-centric, cloud-enabled and data-driven. Ultimately, we must bring a cloud experience to IT operators whether it’s for a traditional data centre, colocation site, or new digital Edge – with simplicity, speed and security packaged into flexible consumption models.

New networking solutions to power Edge-to-cloud ‘centres of data’

Aruba has announced new data centre solutions that help simplify IT operations, accelerate service delivery and streamline IT deployment:

  • New orchestration software for Aruba CX switches that bring cloud-like-operations to the data centre edge, simplifying and speeding service delivery.
  • New Aruba CX switch models designed for flexible, right-sized, cloud managed switch options from the edge to traditional data centres.
  • New pre-engineered HPE and partner solutions that integrate compute, storage and networking infrastructure in order to reduce the time, risk and cost of standing up IT elements across emerging centres of data.

Let’s take a closer look at these Aruba new solutions.

Software-defined automation and orchestration

Our new Aruba Fabric Composer software orchestrates a discrete set of switches as a single entity in a ‘fabric’ topology which simplifies day-to-day operations and troubleshooting. Aruba Fabric Composer is designed to seamlessly work with Aruba CX switches, to optimise fabric provisioning and application performance across a wide variety of virtualised, hyperconverged and HPE compute and storage environments.

This innovative solution is ideal for IT administrators who often struggle with manual and siloed IT service provisioning across compute, virtualisation, storage and networking. IT generalists who may not have deep networking expertise (e.g., server or VM admins) can now provision and manage fabric operations all from a single console – providing a powerful and simplified operating model that has been unavailable until now.

Unified, flexible connectivity across emerging Edge use cases

Aruba is also introducing the newest member of the CX switching family, the Aruba CX 8360 switch series.

The CX 8360 expands on the Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) vision by continuing to deliver innovative solutions that help organisations extend a unified, cloud-managed infrastructure and operating model across campuses, branches, traditional and emerging centres of data. Built on Aruba’s powerful cloud-native AOS-CX network operating system, Aruba CX switches include advanced data centre features, along with an embedded Network Analytics Engine (NAE), at no additional licensing cost.

Aruba CX 8360 Switch Series

Offered in five different flexible switch models, the CX 8360 Series delivers high-performance 1/10/25/40/100 GbE switching designed both for data centres requiring high-performance spine-and-leaf architectures, or lower port density/cost switching for Edge centres of data.

Aruba CX 8360 Switch Series configurations

  • 12P 40/100G 
  • 32P 10/25G w/ 4P 40/100G (w/MACsec)
  • 16P 10/25G w/ 2P 40/100G
  • 48P 1G/10G Base-T w/ 4P 40/100G
  • 24P 1G/10G w/ 2P 40/100G

Complete integration stacks

Finally, Aruba offers a highly differentiated advantage over traditional network-only vendors by offering HPE GreenLake hybrid cloud services and Infrastructure-as-a-Service to support customer workloads – on-premises, fully managed in a pay-per-use model at the Edge, in colocations and in the data centre.

Aruba networking technology underpins an increasing array of these new GreenLake service offerings including: VM-as-a-Service, Container-as-a-Service and SAP HANA-as-a-Service. According to a Forrester study, ‘Customers who have deployed HPE GreenLake have reported up to 75% faster time to market while deploying complex global IT projects’.

In addition to these cloud and as-a-Service options, customers also have the option to leverage an array of pre-engineered and tested HPE and Aruba integrations for more traditional on-premises, customer-managed options. These ready-to-deploy, custom IT data centre solutions help simplify and speed IT service delivery while reducing the time, risk and expertise needed to deploy complex solutions.

These new integrations span a wide range of compute, storage, HCI, HPC, virtualisation and cloud offerings, including: HPE ProLiant DL and DX servers, HPE Apollo servers, HPE SimpliVity, HPE Nimble Storage dHCI, HPE Synergy, HPE Flex Superdome, HPE Cray EX supercomputers, Cray ClusterStor storage systems, as well as partner solutions with Nutanix, SAP HANA and VMware.

Accelerating your Digital Transformation

Innovation, progress and out-of-the-box thinking will continue to drive the shift from legacy deployment and operating models to new Edge-to-cloud architectures where interconnected centres of data will power next-generation applications and improved business outcomes.

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