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How to Engineer a More Secure Enterprise

Tina Liu
Director, Product Marketing

As companies strive to boost the capabilities of their IT infrastructure, the architectures they cobble together often have multiple points of failure. How do we address this?

Taking IT Dependability to a New Level by Eliminating Points of Failure

It's no secret that the digital enterprise changes IT requirements in profound ways. And while it may not be the sexiest part of IT, there's one fact that is completely inescapable — the reliability and dependability of the infrastructure used to run your applications are now nothing less than mission critical. Glitches, hiccups and full-scale breakdowns typically translate directly into a dinged brand image and, too often, diminished revenue.
 
However, at the center of this storm is an inherent challenge related to IT: Over time, most organizations cobble together a mélange of hardware and software systems. As this disparate collection of tools, technologies and solutions swells, the number of points of failure increases — sometimes exponentially.
 
Unfortunately, too many IT executives — unable to see the proverbial forest through the trees — fail to recognize this problem. Instead, they continue to add parts to the motor, piece by piece and component by component, until the system is too complex and unwieldy to manage and maintain. They find themselves hamstrung by a lack of flexibly. Worse, diagnosing and fixing problems becomes a nightmare.

The Next Generation of IT
 
As IT and business leaders look to step up enterprise performance and minimize tactical and tedious tasks, many are rethinking the fundamental way they approach IT. They're looking to build out a more agile and flexible platform, one that reduces complexity and the potential for errors; one that eliminates multiple points of failure.
 
At the center of all this is a cloud-enabled, converged IT infrastructure. As CIO magazine puts it: "Converged infrastructure, at its core, eliminates the busywork of provisioning servers, SAN, LAN and applications."[1] By streamlining the tactical side of IT operations — essentially the task of keeping the lights on and the motor running — it's possible to focus on more strategic issues, including maximizing mobility, rolling out applications to support the Internet of Things, and turning up the volume on big data and analytics to help drive business decisions.
 
A converged infrastructure delivers more deeply and broadly integrated systems, including pre-integrated subsystems such as server, networking and storage sold as a single product. In this way, an organization eliminates conventional points of failure. In fact, with the right framework in place, it's possible to support disparate tasks and a wide range of workloads within a single appliance.

A Clear View of the Private Cloud
 
For many IT leaders, the route to simplicity and strategic gain is paved with more than a few potholes, roadblocks and detours. However, Oracle Private Cloud Appliance, part of the Oracle Engineered Systems family, can transform the chaos into order and the challenges into opportunities. It introduces a private cloud that delivers a combination of servers, storage, and network devices in a pre-integrated and pre-optimized stack. By combining converged infrastructure control, a unified software-defined network fabric, support for guest operating systems, support for customer provided storage, and unified and secure management, it's possible to ratchet up gains and squeeze out potential points of failure.
 
In fact, this framework can reduce infrastructure complexity by upwards of 70 percent, dial down latency to near zero, and support provisioning that takes place in minutes rather than hours. As a result, this environment can run up to 10x faster. But it also makes it remarkably easy to identify and fix problems. A single point of support eliminates the need for diagnostics that can devour hours, as well as the need to pore over log files and reports. Instead, IT staff is able to focus on strategic tasks that aid the business.
 
In fact, using built-in templates, it's possible to provision up to 83 percent faster than using a traditional approach. At the same time, the Oracle Private Cloud Appliance supports a single patch bundle. This means that IT can view and manage the environment as a single system rather than a group of individual appliances, servers or virtual machines. Finally, the appliance delivers a fully redundant rack with up to 25 compute nodes, redundant power supplies, redundant I/O connections, and automatic failover. The integrated ZFS storage for the Private Cloud Appliance management environment is also designed to be fully redundant for maximum fault tolerance.
              
All of this, at the end of the day, produces cost savings as great as 14x over competing converged platforms. What's more, for some companies, this translates into a 50 percent savings in capital expenditures. By tapping a converged infrastructure, an organization can move from reactive to proactive, and tactical to strategic. Now that's a winning approach.

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