Tag Archives: IoT

The shift is on: From data centers to centers-of-data

IN THIS ARTICLE

  • Enterprises will soon integrate on-prem, colocation, cloud, and edge data delivery options, shifing workloads across many centers of data for the agility and speed required in the cloud era
  • A new architectural approach is needed to bring a cloud experience to IT operators, with simplicity, speed, and security packaged into flexible consumption models
  • However, most enterprise IT organizations are unprepared to shift to a centers-of-data model, instead wrestling with siloed compute and storage, connected via disjointed network architectures
  • New solutions from Aruba help transition to a centers-of-data model, with new solutions that simplify IT operations, accelerate service delivery, and streamline IT deployment

Aruba Data Center Networking solutions help simplify this transition

According to Gartner, “By 2025, 85% of infrastructure strategies will integrate on-premises, colocation, cloud, and edge delivery options, compared with 20% in 20201. This is a significant architectural shift that will require workloads to be processed closer to where data is being created, across many edge locations.

But as enterprise IT organizations make this shift, most are unprepared. Edges of siloed compute and storage are connected via disjointed network architectures, with operating models that hinder centralized management, orchestration, security, and visibility. While the interconnections across edges are increasingly solved with technologies like SD-WAN and SASE, overall IT operational simplicity remains a major problem.

What’s needed is a new architectural approach, one that is edge-centric, cloud-enabled, and data-driven. Ultimately, we must bring a cloud experience to IT operators whether it’s for a traditional data center, co-location site, or new digital edge – with simplicity, speed, and security packaged into flexible consumption models.

New networking solutions to power edge-to-cloud “centers of data”

Today, Aruba is announcing new data center solutions that help simplify IT operations, accelerate service delivery, and streamline IT deployment:

  • New orchestration software for Aruba CX switches that bring cloud-like-operations to the data center edge, simplifying and speeding service delivery. 
  • New Aruba CX switch models designed for flexible, right-sized, cloud managed switch options from the edge to traditional data centers. 
  • New pre-engineered HPE and partner solutions that integrate compute, storage, and networking infrastructure in order to reduce the time, risk, and cost of standing up IT elements across emerging centers of data.

    Let’s take a closer look at these Aruba new solutions.

    Software-defined automation and orchestration

    Our new 
    Aruba Fabric Composer software orchestrates a discrete set of switches as a single entity in a “fabric” topology which simplifies day-to-day operations and troubleshooting. Aruba Fabric Composer is designed to seamlessly work with Aruba CX switches, to optimize fabric provisioning and application performance across a wide variety of virtualized, hyper-converged, and HPE compute and storage environments.

This innovative solution is ideal for IT administrators who often struggle with manual and siloed IT service provisioning across compute, virtualization, storage, and networking. IT generalists who may not have deep networking expertise (e.g., server or VM admins) can now provision and manage fabric operations all from a single console – providing a powerful and simplified operating model that has been unavailable until now.

Unified, flexible connectivity across emerging edge use cases

Aruba is also introducing the newest member of the CX switching family, the Aruba CX 8360 switch series.

The CX 8360 expands on the Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) vision by continuing to deliver innovative solutions that help organizations extend a unified, cloud-managed infrastructure and operating model across campuses, branches, traditional, and emerging centers of data. Built on Aruba’s powerful cloud-native AOS-CX network operating system, Aruba CX switches include advanced data center features, along with an embedded Network Analytics Engine (NAE), at no additional licensing cost.

Offered in five different flexible switch models, the CX 8360 Series delivers high-performance 1/10/25/40/100 GbE switching designed both for data centers requiring high-performance spine-and-leaf architectures, or lower port density/cost switching for edge centers of data.

Aruba CX 8360 Switch Series configurations

  • 12P 40/100G
  • 32P 10/25G w/ 4P 40/100G (w/MACsec) 
  • 16P 10/25G w/ 2P 40/100G 
  • 48P 1G/10G Base-T w/ 4P 40/100G 
  • 24P 1G/10G w/ 2P 40/100G
 

Complete integration stacks

Finally, Aruba offers a highly differentiated advantage over traditional network-only vendors by offering HPE GreenLake hybrid cloud services and infrastructure-as-a-service to support customer workloads – on-premises, fully managed in a pay-per-use model at the edge, in colocations, and in the data center.

Aruba networking technology underpins an increasing array of these new GreenLake service offerings including: VM-as-a-Service, Container-as-a-Service, and SAP HANA-as-a-Service. According to a Forrester study, “Customers who have deployed HPE GreenLake have reported up to 75% faster time to market while deploying complex global IT projects.”2

In addition to these cloud and as-a-service options, customers also have the option to leverage an array of pre-engineered and tested HPE and Aruba integrations for more traditional on-premises, customer-managed options. These ready-to-deploy, custom IT data center solutions help simplify and speed IT service delivery while, reducing the time, risk, and expertise needed to deploy complex solutions.

These new integrations span a wide range of compute, storage, HCI, HPC, virtualization, and cloud offerings, including: HPE ProLiant DL and DX servers, HPE Apollo servers, HPE SimpliVity, HPE Nimble Storage dHCI, HPE Synergy, HPE Flex Superdome, HPE Cray EX supercomputers, Cray ClusterStor storage systems, as well as partner solutions with Nutanix, SAP HANA, and VMware.

Additional information on HPE and Aruba integrations will be available next month.

Accelerating your Digital Transformation

Innovation, progress, and out-of-the-box thinking will continue to drive the shift from legacy deployment and operating models to new edge-to-cloud architectures where interconnected centers of data will power next generation applications and improved business outcomes.

To learn more about how Aruba Data Center solutions can help you refine and accelerate your edge-to-cloud strategy, visit https://www.arubanetworks.com/solutions/data-center/

The Aruba CX 8360 switch series, Aruba Fabric Composer, and partner ecosystem integrations are available today.  The HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud and select solution integrations will be available starting in Q1 2021.

Aruba Fabric Composer MSRP starts at $3,875 per CX switch, per year

The Aruba CX 8360 switch series MSRP starts at $ 18,995 (24x10GbE)

 

1Gartner, Your Data Center May Not Be Dead, but It’s Morphing, David Cappuccio, Henrique Cecci, Sept. 17, 2020

2A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, The Total Economic ImpactTM of HPE GreenLake, June 2020

Reconfiguring the workplace for a safe return to work: New solutions from HPE

Companies’ workplace strategies are entering a new phase as they continue to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. HPE return-to-work solutions can help by providing strong protection for onsite employees’ health, enabling your company to accelerate its return to growth.

We still have a long way to go in battling through the pandemic, but companies’ initial responses have been impressive. The focus has been on protecting employees by maximizing the use of remote work capabilities, remote IT management, video conferencing, VDI – in short, any technology that could keep people safe at home while helping them to stay productive and keep the business functional.

As businesses are entering the next phase of their pandemic response, in many countries and localities, shelter in place rules are starting to ease. New questions are emerging: How can I safely bring at least some of my employees back into the physical work environment while adhering to social distancing rules? It’s a given that not everyone will be able to come back just yet – so how can I build an environment that will support both local workers and remote workers? How can I leverage technology so that on-site and off-site / online employees complement each other?

Businesses are addressing these questions with varying levels of urgency. Organizations that have achieved good progress in their digital transformation will likely be able to make their remote-work strategy last a lot longer, perhaps indefinitely. Companies that have made less progress probably won’t have that option. Furthermore , depending on the industry, it may be a matter of economic survival for some businesses. If you’re a manufacturer, you need a reliably safe way to get workers back to the factory floor as soon as possible. Oil and gas producers, food distributors, cruise lines … the list of industries that crucially depend on employees’ on-site presence is long indeed.

In June, HPE announced five new solutions – joint offerings with our ecosystem of partners – to help companies resume operations while providing rigorous protection for employees’ health. I’ll cover a couple of them in this post, and I’ll look at the others in upcoming blogs.

Social distance tracing and tracking. Employees may be well aware of the importance of social distancing guidelines for their safety, but in a busy work environment it’s all too easy to forget. We offer proximity alerting to remind them to keep a safe distance.

Contact tracing is a capability that has demonstrated its value in combatting COVID-19. We offer an enterprise grade version for the enterprise environment, enabling you to determine the contact and proximity history of individual employees..

Touchless entry. The entry points to a facility can easily become congestion points, creating a level of proximity that’s not acceptable in the COVID era. We provide a smooth, hygienic entry system that doesn’t require employees to touch door handles. This is a highly secure solution which can be combined with other solutions such as video analytics to enable multifactor access control as well as identity verification.

Tapping into the power of IoT

As you’ve probably guessed, these solutions rely heavily on Internet of Things technologies. And, after all, this is what the IoT does, and what nothing else can do – it enables us to turn the physical world directly into data that we can be leveraged for an incredible variety of purposes. That said, I’m aware that some companies might be understandably hesitant to apply what may be, for them, a relatively unfamiliar set of technologies – especially for something as sensitive as the personal health and safety of the workforce. If you’re in that category, I’d like to make a few points that should set your mind at ease.

It’s all about your people – first, last, and always. The technology behind the solutions may be sophisticated – secure entry, for example, runs on some heavy-duty analytics – but the basic concepts and goals are straightforward and crystal-clear. The focus, first and always, is on protecting your employees in what is still a difficult health environment, even in those zones of the world that have had the most success in crushing the virus. The Internet of Things isn’t only about “things” – it’s not all robots and assembly lines. It’s a powerful tool for ensuring the safety of humans.

Protecting confidentiality is crucial. And doable. As in any other area of IT, security and data confidentiality are always primary considerations. We understand that HPE’s return-to-work solutions must align with the structures, policies and processes already in place at your organization. We work with your security, legal and compliance people to make sure that happens. For example, when we installed a solution for a food manufacturer that’s highly unionized, we worked with the security and privacy officer of the company to make sure that union rules around workplace technologies were respected.

These are proven technologies. It’s true that these are groundbreaking solutions; they’re almost as new as the novel coronavirus. But the underlying technologies are tried-and-true IoT workhorses that we are repurposing to help companies navigate an unfamiliar environment. HPE has a long track record of successful IoT implementations and a deep pool of expertise in our Networking, Digital Workplace and IoT Services. We can get you to where you want to go.

Partnership is everything. No single company, however experienced and innovative, can cover everything in a field as vast as the Internet of Things. The most effective partner for your company will be the one that’s the most effective partner with other players in the IoT ecosphere. Here again HPE can claim an advantage – building alliances with other innovators has always been part of our DNA.

You can start small. HPE return-to-work solutions directly address your business goals by delivering end-to-end production pilots that are easy to implement. They are predefined, packaged solutions, and once they’re implemented it’s extremely easy to scale up or extend the scope. We can often integrate with solutions that customers are already running; it’s actually pretty rare that we do a greenfield deployment.

We can help you get started with flexible financing models. We understand that budgets are under a lot of strain right now. HPE Financial Services can help you move forward confidently with a range of offerings that enable you to defer or reduce expenditures, generate cash from existing assets, align payments to your deployment schedule, and more. For a great overview of these options, see Paul Sheeran’s post: Forging the path ahead: Financing and asset lifecycle options you can leverage right now.

The COVID-19 struggle may be far from over for most businesses, but ensuring workplace safety is a crucial step forward in rebuilding financial stability. HPE return-to-work solutions can get you there quickly, safely and effectively.

For a quick overview of all five HPE return-to-work solutions, see this infographic: https://college.westcoast.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Helping-businesses-return-to-work-infographic-a50001951enw.pdf