What does it mean to software-define something, or to move into the digital age?
These phrases may sound strange at first, but if you look around, companies all over the world are doing these things every day.
Take pizza, for example. You might not think you can software-define pizza, but it has already happened, and you probably didn’t even realize it. Domino’s Pizza has distilled the pizza ordering experience down from calling the pizza store, to ordering pizza online, to now only requiring one simple action: text Domino’s a pizza emoticon, and your favorite saved order is delivered to you. That pizza emoticon may look like a tasty morsel, but Domino’s has transformed it into a template that you can customize, edit, and use to repeatedly and reliably order your favorite pizza with minimal effort. That’s what it means to software-define something.
Software-define your data center
For a data center, it’s just as important to take the complicated processes of old and distill them down into simple actions. Bring the magic and simplicity of software and integrate it directly into the hardware at the most basic level, so that from start to finish, the process is defined and controlled through software. For example, instead of manually provisioning servers one-by-one, your infrastructure management software can let you quickly and reliably discover, deploy, and provision your data center. Like the pizza emoticon, you should be able to create templates for your workloads and applications and apply them to servers with minimal effort.
Maintaining those servers is just as important, so when requirements change or firmware needs to be updated, you merely edit a single template. Changes are easily propagated across your infrastructure in the same repeatable and reliable fashion that you used to set it up.
Controlling your infrastructure through software doesn’t stop at templates. Part of moving into the digital age also means taking advantage of everything digital has to offer to create the optimal solutions.
Looking back at our pizza example, Domino’s Pizza didn’t stop with the pizza slice emoticon. They’ve partnered with some of the coolest tech around, such as smart home speakers and smart TVs, to enable its customers to easily order – even when their phone is buried deep somewhere in the couch. In fact, the list of ways it has come up with for customers to order pizza is mind-boggling — this company seems to have something for everybody.
Here’s something to think about. Does your data center take advantage of today’s tech to have something for everybody? Do you have tools that make your infrastructure easily accessible to developers in your company? Do you have automation tools that make life easier for IT admins? Templates are great but automating them is even better. Integrating tools that can intelligently predict changes in workload needs and shuffle around resources to meet them are the kinds of tools you want. The best way to achieve this is to choose an infrastructure management solution that has an open, unified API that allows you to easily integrate these tools, and again, do it with minimal effort.
Lastly, it’s also key to make sure that you’re able to software-define with one infrastructure management solution for many different platforms within your data center, not just servers or storage. Lots of companies offer management solutions that manage all your servers, and then another solution to manage your storage, and another to manage your networking. Domino’s doesn’t have separate tools for you to order pizza, brownies, or a salad. Your data center is one product that is delivering services to your company, so you should manage all of it as one.
Software-define your infrastructure with HPE OneView
Are you ready to software-define? Consider HPE OneView—one tool that allows you to automate, integrate, and innovate better in your data center. HPE OneView uses template-based provisioning and updating to speed time-to-value for the services you deliver with your infrastructure. HPE OneView also simplifies the lifecycle management of your infrastructure and makes it easy to integrate with today’s most innovative tools such as Chef, Docker, Puppet, Ansible, Microsoft, VMware, and more by leveraging an open, unified API. With HPE OneView, you can software-define your HPE solutions such as HPE ProLiant servers, HPE BladeSystem, HPE 3PAR, and more.
Think about how you could distill your processes down to be simpler and faster, then head over to hpe.com/info/oneview to learn more about how you can leverage HPE OneView to get started. Or, download the free e-book, HPE OneView for Dummies to learn more.
About Paul Miller
Paul Miller is Vice President of Marketing for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Paul’s organization is responsible for all marketing content and sales enablement tools to help HPE customers get the best product and solution experience.
To read more articles from Paul Miller, check out the HPE Shifting to Software-Defined blog.