At this time each year, IT departments review their needs and plan for a new infrastructure in the upcoming 12 months. According to NetApp, today’s business pace is characterised by constant change. New IT infrastructure purchases made today help set the foundation for a flexible IT architecture in the future. The Sunnyvale-based computer storage and data management company advises that the infrastructure which companies decide to invest in now should be able to scale up and scale out according to business needs, now and in the future. Key IT priorities, such as virtualisation, cloud-based IT services, cost containment and green IT, require storage that is more adaptable than previous IT solutions.
NetApp also advises that these criteria should be considered when making IT purchases:
- Unified architecture- Flexible architecture is capable of supporting multiple protocols including Network File System (NFS), Common Internet File System (CIFS), iSCSI, Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to help meet business demands.
- Scalability - As business demand grows and data increases, the ability to scale in multiple dimensions—performance, capacity and operationally—may be needed.
- Integrated data protection - True, integrated data protection can enable administrators to "set it and forget it" so that critical business information is safeguarded.
- Round-the-clock operations - IT disruptions can be costly. When purchasing IT solutions, NetApp advises making considerations in the areas of capacity and performance expansion, load balancing, testing, upgrades and performance of other IT tasks.
- Secure multitenancy – With increasing adoption of shared infrastructure, says NetApp, secure, end-to-end, multitenancy across applications can be considered.
- Storage efficiency - Efficient solutions will enable users to store the most data for the lowest cost, significantly reducing data center space requirements (and power and cooling costs), and complete tasks in less time with fewer people. It can also help create instant responses to business demands.
- Service automation - As IT departments move from supporting terabytes to petabytes, automation becomes more and more critical.
According to NetApp, a flexible IT system will help companies keep pace with the speed of changing business requirements, and will move IT from a cost center to a strategic business function.