Staying apprised of today’s merry-go-round of evolving technologies can feel like aiming at a perpetually moving target. With advancements taking shape in cloud solutions and data acquisition, data center and IT managers have faced some complicated tasks:
- Retain all critical IT resources on site
- Move everything else to the cloud
- Allocate IT expenses as capex
- Wait, earmark them as opex
If your head is spinning, you’re not alone. To balance various business objectives, many organizations are now turning to a new approach that may help stabilize the ever-swinging technological pendulum. Increasingly, organizations are implementing a hybrid approach to IT and data, in which some IT workloads are managed on premises while others rely on cloud-based services.
The Emergence of Hybrid IT
Several factors are fueling the demand for hybrid IT. One has been the escalating cost of the cloud, which wasn’t anticipated to be such a significant hurdle. Although initially proposed as an easy-to-compress, pay-as-you-go model that enabled companies to shift capex to opex, the cloud has become considerably more expensive. This fact has forced organizations to rethink their investments in just how much critical infrastructure to shift to cloud-based environments.
Additionally, IT departments are under increasing pressure to efficiently collect, store and use the vast quantities of data they receive. In response to these growing demands, managers must have easy access to their data to respond quickly. Businesses also can’t afford complications such as security breaches and other disruptions in today’s hyperconnected world. As a result, many have come to believe the cloud is incapable of delivering the security, compliance or uptime that mounting workloads require.
Ultimately, transferring everything to the cloud just isn’t feasible, nor is it a reliable solution to the challenge of supporting modern IT and data center environments.
Calling for Backup
A recent Peak 10 study revealed that 75 percent of surveyed organizations reported placing their networking workloads on premises. As organizations look to support these workloads and have more of their IT infrastructures reside locally, the need for premium backup power has never been more critical.
Power outages and other power-related issues pose a frequent challenge for many organizations across the country. According to the 2017 edition of Eaton’s annual U.S. Blackout Tracker report, there were 3,526 outages in the country last year. The number of people affected by outages more than doubled in comparison with 2016 numbers—an increase of almost 19 million. In total, the report found blackouts affected nearly 27 million people last year, lasting an average of 81 minutes per power outage.
Although power outages can be inconvenient for the public, they can lead to major bottom-line losses for companies. A recent ITIC study showed that for large enterprises with more than 1,000 employees, the costs associated with a single hour of downtime average $100,000. In verticals such as manufacturing, that number rises to $5 million for a power outage lasting just one hour.
As IT environments continue to expand in an ever changing technology landscape, organizations and their IT departments need advanced tools to help effectively manage power and avoid the astronomical expenses associated with downtime. A comprehensive power-protection system must ensure business continuity and keep essential applications continuously available.
Powering the New IT Environment
Given a strategic product lineup, IT managers can implement a convenient, one-stop shop for the range of devices they need to safeguard their systems while supporting the proliferation of small edge-computing end points. This lineup includes rack enclosures, power-distribution units (PDUs), rackmount and end-of-row uninterruptible power systems (UPSs), and power-management software and services. Together, these solutions can help organizations both protect and manage their infrastructure, saving time and money while reducing risks.
Integration is a major consideration in the design and deployment of a power-management solution, ensuring operational alignment and helping to maximize business value. By choosing solutions that integrate with common virtualization or container-management tools—such as those from VMware, Cisco, NetApp, Dell EMC, HPE, Nutanix, Scale Computing, Docker and Kubernetes—organizations can extend the availability of IT infrastructures. A solution that integrates power-management and virtualization or containerization software, for example, gives IT pros the ability to manage not only physical and virtual servers but also their power-management devices—all from a single console.
As software takes on an even more important role in this evolving technology landscape, solutions will continue to advance in the integration of hybrid IT orchestration to enable seamless migration of IT resources between on premises and the cloud.
New Technologies for a Seamless Approach
The adoption of new technologies is a constant theme in the data center and IT space. Many organizations are seeking to employ the latest advancements in areas such as automation and Internet of Things (IoT) to improve resiliency and efficiency. Although the IT and data landscape continues to evolve and grow more complex, businesses and facilities remain challenged with running their entire network efficiently and without interruption—often with less staff to provide support.
The technological merry-go-round isn’t likely to stop anytime soon. Regardless of how organizations balance their workloads, the need for power remains critical. Organizations navigating this complex process would be wise to consider a hybrid-IT approach that aligns with a strategic power-management system to enhance their current infrastructure. Marrying integrated power management and networking solutions can benefit businesses in a variety of ways, from better quality and reliability to easier deployments. With an advanced and integrated IT ecosystem, businesses will be in the best position to thrive as innovation continues in a hybrid-IT world.
About the Author
Hervé Tardy is senior vice president and general manager, Distributed Power Quality North America, at Eaton. He is a 25-year veteran of the UPS industry and has held multiple positions in sales, channel marketing, product marketing and product development. He manages Eaton’s global product roadmap for single-phase UPSs, software and connectivity products, and he has global responsibility for the company’s IT Channel marketing program.