By Laurence Si, Country Manager, VMware Malaysia and Brunei
The ICT landscape in Malaysia is going through rapid innovation and transformation, with third platform technologies of cloud, big data/analytics, social, mobile increasingly disrupting the ICT landscape. Analyst firm IDC predicts a 15 percent growth in third platform technologies as against the 0.7 percent growth in legacy IT infrastructure. More significantly, IDC believes that the third platform infrastructure is transforming IT much faster than the first (mainframe) or second (client/server) platforms ever did.
Many of what IDC calls second platform legacy IT are built based on designs and architectures that are decades old and require a slow and piecemeal upgrade process. Unfortunately, this scale-up approach to data center design does not reflect how most businesses actually operate. Businesses are now looking for network structures that are agile, robust and scalable.
As a consequence, lines of business and marketers are now opting for technologies that can contribute to the immediate fulfilment of a business need. This in turn is pushing the limits of computing resources, including servers, storage and networks, to the edge of economic and technical viability.
Reaping software-defined benefits
One solution that can satisfy the technical and operational requirements of today’s moment-driven business environment is a software-defined computing architecture. In this software-defined world, compute, storage and networking capabilities are all delivered as services using software-configurable API calls. Applications will access the required resources and functions through rich APIs.
The benefit of such an approach is that it introduces agility into the organization without the restrictions imposed by physical hardware infrastructure. With a software-defined computing architecture, businesses can easily scale their compute-storage-network needs according to business moments. The end goal of a software-defined data center (SDDC) is to achieve what senior leadership at businesses want – a transformation of IT as a service (ITaaS). A SDDC – essentially a comprehensive abstraction of a complete data center – promises an integrated architecture that allows the merger of legacy architectures, cloud computing, and workload-centric architecture into a single manageable domain.
SDDC is significant in a number of ways, including:
· It brings balance back to the ongoing discussion between the use of public and private computing;
· It enables the attributes of agility, reduced operational and capital costs, lower security risk, and a new of stack management visibility;
· It does not only modify the operational and consumption model for computing infrastructure, but also alters the way computing infrastructure is designed and built;
· Infrastructure is now a combination of software and configuration. It can be programmatically generated based on a specification; hyper-converged infrastructure is one example of this.
Those that have transformed themselves to become ITaaS companies by leveraging highly virtualized infrastructure environments, are able to introduce new forms of IT service delivery. This includes self-service and on-demand models for IT that significantly increase IT agility and provide a model that focuses on innovation and business value creation. As a result, IT organizations are able to generate greater incremental revenues, respond faster to the needs of the business, reduce developer and operational costs, and garner more of the enterprise budget than their less-mature peers (see Figure 1 below).
Figure 1 Benefits of ITaaS
Source: IT Evolution: Today and Tomorrow, Insights from the VMware 2013 Journey to IT as a Service Survey, 2013
From business agility to cost savings with SDDC
Furthermore, an IDC study commissioned by VMware in 2014 projected that significant cost savings could be achieved if organizations were to leverage a software-defined approach for managing their IT infrastructure. Businesses in the Asia Pacific region can avoid USD 133 billion in costs, and Malaysia was found to avoid almost USD 1 billion (USD934 million) through reductions in administrative costs, power and cooling, real estate and maintenance, and physical hardware requirements with a software-defined approach to managing IT. (See Figure 2 below)
Source: IDC Datacenter Economies Index (DEI) commissioned by VMware, 2014
When companies achieve the goal of ITaaS, three trends become evident: Firstly, they realize even greater business value as they progress in transforming their IT model including capital and operating cost savings, ROI, revenue generation, and other key metrics. Secondly, companies on an ITaaS journey are increasingly reinvesting the savings in strategic initiatives, including new revenue-generating applications and services. Finally, the IT mindset has firmly shifted from tactical to a strategic one.
In line with the national program, Digital Malaysia, aimed at developing its digital economy and improving productivity, enterprises also need speed, agility and simplicity to do better. End-users are demanding faster provisioning and expect to be able to quickly and easily consume IT services. With the many benefits a software-defined approach to managing IT brings, businesses in Malaysia can now better realize IT’s potential, and be better armed with the abilities to do better, faster and achieve success.
1 As IDC Sees It, Tech's 'Third Platform' Disrupts Everyone http://www.cio.com/article/2377568/cloud-computing/as-idc-sees-it-tech-s-third-platform-disrupts-everyone.html
2 Gartner Says Digital Businesses Will Spot Opportunities in a Matter of Seconds
3 The Software-Defined Data Center Is The Future Of Infrastructure Architecture
4 IT Evolution: Today and Tomorrow -- Insights from the VMware 2013 Journey to IT as a Service Survey