"Digital Transformation is Putting New Pressures on IT Organizations"

Swapna Bapat, Director Systems Engineering, Brocade India, believes the IT storage infrastructure must evolve to enable businesses to thrive in this new era.

What are the trends driving Digital Transformation? Brocade recently conducted a global study ‘Unlocking the Power of Digital Transformation: Freeing IT from Legacy Constraints’, which identifies that businesses are missing opportunities to unlock innovation more quickly and more effectively due to legacy technology and historical misperceptions about the role of IT departments. According to the report, more than 70% of IT teams felt that if they had more opportunity to be flexible in their approach to technology, benefits would include increased competitiveness (36%), more time to focus on innovation (31%), the elimination of shadow IT (30%), a 12% increase in revenue and 10% decrease in costs over the next 12 months. Digital transformation is pushing mission-critical storage environments to the limit, with users expecting data to be accessible from anywhere, at any time, on any device. Faced with exponential data growth, the network must evolve to enable businesses to thrive in this new era. To meet these dynamic and growing business demands, organizations need to deploy infrastructure that can deliver greater consistency, predictability, and performance. Legacy infrastructure, however, was not designed to support the performance requirements of evolving workloads and flash-based storage technology. In fact, an aging network will impede the performance of an all-flash data center. A new approach to storage networking is needed to enable databases, virtual servers, desktops, and critical applications, and to unlock the full capabilities of flash. By treating the network as a strategic part of a storage environment, organizations can maximize their productivity and efficiency even as they rapidly scale their environments. What is the significance of storage innovation for digital transformation by organizations? Business leaders are embracing the digital transformation as a critical factor for success, and they expect IT to help them innovate faster, increase profitability, and gain competitive advantage. But digital transformation is putting new pressures on IT organizations and pushing mission-critical IT storage environments to the limit. Faced with exponential data growth, hyperscale virtualization, evolving workloads, and new demands for always-on business operations, the IT storage infrastructure must evolve to enable businesses to thrive in this new era. The legacy infrastructure was simply not designed to support these dynamics and the current pace of growth in business requirements. IT organizations need to modernize the data center and deploy a storage infrastructure that can deliver greater consistency, predictability, and performance. Fortunately, innovation for the storage network is well underway. The newest and most exciting storage advancement today is flash-based storage. To take full advantage of flash-based storage, innovation for the storage network is also required. As companies redefine application performance with flash storage, they require networks that deliver ultra-low latency, higher capacity bandwidth, and greater reliability. In fact, an aging network will bottleneck the performance of an all-flash data center. How next wave of technology disruption for storage will happen through storage networking? Storage in enterprises is going through dramatic architectural changes driven by flash, cloud and hyper-convergence. The newest and most exciting storage advancement today is flash-based storage. The unprecedented speed and rapidly increasing cost-effectiveness of flash-based products are dramatically accelerating data center transformation. Flash-based storage is driving exponential advances in storage, enabling faster block- and file-based storage performance for high-density virtualized workloads and traditional mission-critical applications. As a result, many enterprises are moving to an all-flash environment to eliminate performance issues and scalability challenges. This move, however, drives the need for higher IO bandwidth performance and greater availability from the storage network. Next-generation NVMe over Fabrics will place even greater demands on the network. Recent flash technology advancements enable scalability of up to hundreds of Terabytes in a compact form factor, and faster flash arrays are now capable of millions of IOPS, further accelerating application performance. How Fibre Channel is very much alive and a good investment? Fibre Channel is a viable and vibrant storage networking technology that has demonstrated its value over time, and is now the most widely deployed storage network infrastructure for virtualization, cloud, and mission-critical applications. In the storage networking realm, Fibre Channel is the clear choice for a mission-critical, high-performance, low-latency, highly reliable SAN fabric. Fibre Channel drives the world's economies with the most trusted and widely deployed network infrastructure for storage. Thirty billion transactions go through Fibre Channel each day and 96 percent of the world's banks, airlines and retailers rely on Fibre Channel. Fibre Channel is the most widely deployed storage networking infrastructure for server and storage virtualization. Fibre Channel has been an integral part of every wave of storage innovation in the data center. Gen 6 Fibre Channel is especially significant for new technology such as flash-based storage, which is accelerating the transformation of the data center. Fibre Channel would be able to address many of the new and evolving storage-related requirements around hyper-scale, distance connectivity (metro and geo), operational simplicity, and performance. Tell us about the Brocade’s Fabric Vision technology and what will the Brocade X6 solutions mean to the Indian market? Fabric Vision technology enhances visibility into the health of storage environments, delivering greater control and insight to quickly identify problems and achieve critical Service Level. Fabric Vision technology enables organizations to minimize the impact of disruptions and outages for non-stop business operations. The Brocade Gen 6 Fibre Channel portfolio combines innovative hardware, Brocade Fabric Vision technology and ground-breaking integrated monitoring for storage IO and virtual machine (VM) performance. Fabric Vision technology overcomes the traditional limitations of network monitoring by introducing IO Insight, the industry’s only integrated network sensor that provides deeper visibility into the IO performance of storage infrastructure. This enhanced visibility enables quick identification of degraded application performance at host and storage tiers reducing time to resolution. Brocade X6 Director is for mission-critical storage connectivity and business resiliency solutions designed for the all-flash data center. This extends the company’s leadership in offering the industry’s most innovative and widely deployed Fibre Channel storage network solutions, building on the first Gen 6 Fibre Channel switch that Brocade delivered in March 2016.The new Brocade® X6 director family and the Brocade SX6 extension blade for Fibre Channel, Fibre Connection (FICON) and IP storage replication, combined with Brocade Fabric Vision™ technology, enables customers to drive always-on business operations, eliminate performance bottlenecks and adapt to the requirements of digital organizations. The industry-first Gen 6 Fibre Channel director family delivers breakthrough application performance, data center-proven reliability and increased business agility to accelerate data access, adapt to evolving requirements and drive always-on business operations. The Brocade X6 directors provide up to 384 32Gbps line rate ports and up to 32 128 Gbps UltraScale™ ICL connectivity ports delivering a total system bandwidth of 16 Tbps. Breakthrough 32 Gbps performance accelerates application response time by up to 71 percent over previous solution eliminating IO bottlenecks and unleashing the full performance of flash and next generation NVMe-based storage.


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