ITWeb Events spoke to Eaton Kohl, head of HCI & validated solutions, Dell EMC, about how the software-defined data centre (SDDC) is the core of a modern business. His presentation looks at how SDDC facilitates rapid business change; more about the three pillars of transformation as well as how and why businesses are shifting from a ‘build' to ‘buy' mentality with data centres.

ITWeb Events: Why should companies make the move from a legacy data centre infrastructure to a SDDC?

Kohl: With each passing day, the gap between what business demands and what legacy IT infrastructure can provide grows.

Eaton Kohl, head of HCI & validated solutions, Dell EMC.

Eaton Kohl, head of HCI & validated solutions, Dell EMC.

Business demands are increasing by orders of magnitude. In the beginning, the mainframe era supported thousands of users accessing hundreds of apps. Then, as demands grew, we moved to the client server era, where millions of users were accessing thousands of apps.

The question is how, in today's distributed world, you are supposed to serve billions of users and support millions of apps? The answer, a new approach to IT infrastructure, people and processes is needed to make it all work. And so enters IT as a service (ITAAS), providing the next level of flexibility and agility.

ITWeb Events: What are the pros and cons of making this move?

Kohl: Agility, operational excellence, security and availability plus IT practitioners are able to re-appropriate their time as companies strive to realise a more robust and responsive services catalogue.

Software-defined systems open many new doors in terms of what you can do with your stack and how you can manage it. It also gets more out of the same systems. Software, not hardware, is becoming the main differentiator in technology. A SDDC solidifies this at the core of your business.

A software-defined environment requires not just common management across the entire virtualised infrastructure, but rather policy-based automation.

ITWeb Events: What are the three main inhibitors of organisations making this transition in your opinion?

Kohl: The most common barrier is maturity: software-defined systems don't simply replace older systems. They represent a radically more powerful approach to getting the most out of business technology. It represents a challenge to embedded culture, but is not contrary to it. Once companies see the tangents between how they do business and the advantages of software-defined systems, they know they can reach much higher than before.

ITWeb Events: What are the three lessons learnt that you would like the attendees of DC2017 to take away with them from your presentation?

Kohl: The transformation buzzword has been used to death, but that doesn't dilute its importance.

Attendees will be exposed to and come to understand the pillars of transformation: modernise their architecture; automate their processes; transform their operations. In so doing gaining an expanded view of rapid changes among modern businesses and the role software-defined systems have to play there.

Finally, attendees will have an opportunity to hear our message around keeping it simple: that you don't need to build your technology as you did in the past. It is much faster and easier to buy the technology and focus on your core business or further drive innovation.

ITWeb Events: Why is Dell EMC involved as a sponsor of the 2017 Data Centre Summit? What value will attendees gain from your presence at the event?

Dell EMC provides the foundation to help modernise, automate and transform your data centre with industry-leading servers, storage, cloud computing solutions, and converged infrastructure technology. Our efforts, along with our partners are defining these ingredients for better business solutions. The summit is a huge opportunity to engage customers on these topics.