Enabling the Data Center of the Future

When I attended the International Data Corporation (IDC) Directions 2015 conference in Boston last month, one theme kept coming up: data center transformation. Presenters and conference-goers alike were talking about moving to cloud-based data centers that enable flexibility, scalability, and fast time to deployment.

The popularity of the topic didn’t surprise me at all. Right now, enterprises of all sizes—and in all industries—are re-envisioning their data centers for fast, agile, and efficient delivery of services, which is what “cloud” is all about.

I had the opportunity to speak on a panel at HPC on Wall Street several weeks ago on the topic of “Cloud and the New Trading Landscape” to outline Intel’s vision for this evolution of the datacenter.

The Cloud: Leading the Shift to the Digital Bank

As I mentioned in another blog post, the cloud is fast becoming an enabler for digital transformation in financial services. That’s because cloud-based technologies give banks and other financial institutions a way to rapidly deploy new services and new ways to interact with customers.

However, cloud is not a “pure” technology and one size doesn’t fit all. Each workload needs to be considered for performance and security. The primary adoption barriers for cloud are concerns around security and data governance, performance, and a lack of in-house expertise and skills to support the migration.

Intel is investing in technology to enable this new cloud based datacenter paradigm which enables innovation and allows financial services organizations to improve operational efficiency, enhance customer engagement, and support the growing requirements for compliance and risk management.

Software-Defined Infrastructure

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At Intel, the strategy for re-envisioning the data center is software-defined infrastructure (SDI), and it provides a foundation for pervasive analytics and insight, allowing organizations to extract value from data.

The underpinning of SDI is workload-optimized silicon, which is applying Moore’s Law to the datacenter. The modern financial services datacenter must support many diverse workloads. Keeping up with the evolving needs of financial services requires data centers that are flexible and responsive and not bound by legacy approaches to how compute, storage and networks are designed. Intel is enabling dynamic resource pooling by working with industry leaders to bring new standards-based approaches to market to make infrastructure more responsive to user needs. This enables servers, networking, and storage to move from fixed functions to flexible, agile solutions that are virtualized and software defined. These pooled resources can be automatically provisioned to improve utilization, quickly deliver new services, and reduce costs.

Intelligent resource orchestration is required to manage and provision the datacenter of the future. Intel is working with software providers including VMWare, Microsoft, and the OpenStack community on solutions that allow users to manage and optimize workloads for performance and security. The data center of the future will have intelligent resource orchestration that monitors the telemetry of the system, makes decisions based on this data to comply with established policies, automatically acts to optimize performance, and learns through machine learning for continuous improvement.

This journey to a software-defined infrastructure will lead to pervasive analytics and insights that will give financial services end users the ability to unlock their data. A flexible, scalable software-defined infrastructure is key to harnessing and extracting value from the ever-increasing data across an enterprise.

The new paradigm of cloud (whether public, private, or hybrid) is a re-envisioning of the datacenter where systems will be workload-optimized, infrastructure will be software-defined, and analytics will be pervasive. Three closing thoughts on cloud: 1) cloud is not a pure technology (one size doesn’t fit all), 2) cloud enables innovation, and 3) cloud is inevitable.

Finally, let me end this blog by saying that I will be taking a break for a couple of months. Intel is a great company with the tremendous benefit of a sabbatical, and starting in early May I will be taking my second sabbatical since joining Intel.

I hope to return from my time away with some fresh insights.

To view more posts within the series, click here: Tech & Finance Series