Robert Neave, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Nlyte, explores how the data centre is seen as a centralised hub for business continuity and how workload asset management (WAM) is so important to keeping IT available and running at all times.
For the enterprise or large institution, the computing workload is what the business lives on. Beyond the facilities, computing devices, networking and software, the workload represents the actual manifestation of the living, breathing, business in action.
The data centre has evolved and is perceived as the corporate nerve centre, essential for business continuity. It forms the backbone of the corporate infrastructure, as well as hosting and delivering all the entertainment and utilities that consumers enjoy through the web, daily.
Traditional data centres, being very expensive to build and run, are always scrutinised for ways of reducing their costs, improving their flexibility and minimising their risks.
There are a number of factors such as cooling, power and space that contribute to high-performing data centres. But top of the list is effective workflows – especially in a hybrid world of data centre, IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, colo, edge and ROBO options.
The workloads supported by technology assets are what are critical to any organisation. These assets are the framework that supports the workload output and as such they continuously need to be optimised and maintained in order to deliver an effective and efficient service.
The challenges of workload asset management generally stem from the reactive stance IT operations teams fall into as part of the treadmill of managing IT for a complex, large organisation.
Situations such as application movement occurring after a failure, thermal systems operated based on changes in temperature or vulnerabilities addressed after a security breach, are all common scenarios.
If the IT team has access to workload asset management, an enterprise company can capture rich data inputs and use events to leverage cognitive analytics to avoid a reactive process by shifting the computing infrastructure management to become more proactive.
It’s one of the hottest areas in technology right now: Machine Learning.
A workload asset management solution aims to support the IT operations team in providing greater insight into their critical infrastructure, from facilities to assets and from virtual machines to application containers.
Using such solutions and techniques organisations can optimise their IT infrastructure in harmony with their applications’ needs in order to increase up-time while reducing operational costs. Ideally, the modern solution should allow this while also saving IT operational staff time and energy.
By optimising the workload sitting on technology assets, an enterprise organisation can ensure the right business processes are driven forward using the right resources – including the time belonging to operational staff.
Every error tells a story
There is a story beyond power challenges and IT failures. Workload asset management is about making sure the business is running applications where they have the highest performance and the lowest costs, while being compliant with outside and internal policies regarding data.
Workload asset management closely aligns the IT and business needs of applications to the physical assets supporting those workloads in order to deliver an optimal environment at the lowest possible cost.
Organisations might turn to these solutions to gain a comprehensive view of their workloads to assure the necessary critical infrastructure quality is available.
This holistic insight can identify whether a dense set of workloads create a potential single point of failure – a most important consideration in today’s rich computing fabric.
For those unsure as to how a workload asset management solution might assist them in better running the organisation’s application delivery through its tech and software stack, consider it a manager-of-managers across the workload containers that are increasingly being deployed by enterprises.
Workload asset management is the solution that allows IT and infrastructure teams to manage this complexity based on the needs of each application. I.E., where the business absolutely has to place its bets on a mission critical application, then it can rely on that application having the needed resource to run reliably and at a high quality of service.
Understand the story to reap the benefits
If the IT operations team can’t get a handle on their assets, understanding asset behaviours and the reasons for errors, then they can’t effectively plan for growth or leverage these assets to run the smartest workloads.
All the traditional tasks that IT has needed to do to keep a handle on the data centre, from asset discovery, workflow management and reporting across the physical, virtual and edge environments can be synced if the business wants to be able to optimise workloads in real time.
Automation becomes the way forward. Rather than manually expecting the IT team to track the location, health and compliance of all assets and then optimise and troubleshoot – automation allows the team to spend more time with the business and better understand and manage the mission critical workloads that sit on the technology assets.
And to finish on another enterprise computing bugbear, only with automation are risks around compliance reduced, with human error being eliminated as a risk factor when it comes to understanding data access rights, security and IT hygiene.
So workload asset management can lead to much more where automation can have a multi-benefit approach, assisting IT keep the business ticking over and support the greater customer protection aspects that compliance mandates.