May 25 2016

3 Building Blocks of the Modern Federal Data Center

EMC’s Audie Hittle explains what agencies need in each data center to build a foundation of success.

FITARA and the updated Federal Data Center Optimization Initiative were put in place to encourage agency modernization. CIOs are searching for the path forward to a modern data center as they face new deadlines to consolidate data centers and reduce costs, while simultaneously dealing with massive data growth.

At EMC, we know that 80 percent of federal IT spending goes to maintaining outdated legacy systems. To change that equation, agencies need “transformative” technologies — solutions that provide users with efficiency, simplicity and speed — enabling them to save time and money and ultimately to improve or transform current operations.

Changing Government with Transformative Technologies

The modern data center is the future of IT infrastructure — an environment where flash, cloud-enabled, scale-out and software-defined services are available and enable the best possible performance for IT needs.

Three areas of transformative technology are shaping the modern data center: hybrid cloud, data lakes, and flash storage.

First, federal IT teams today recognize that the cloud is not a “one size fits all” solution. A combination of on-premises and off-premises cloud solutions typically works best — in other words, a hybrid cloud environment. In a recent IDG study of IT and business executives across industries, 96 percent said their hybrid cloud initiatives were delivering measurable results.

Feds have found they have the same data ownership and governance issues in the cloud that they have in their own data centers, and they are learning that preparing for the move to the cloud is key to success. They must determine what they are trying to accomplish and what their use cases and requirements are, with privacy and security being the foundation for success.

The second transformative technology is the data lake. Data lakes break down data silos and bring together multiple types of sources — both structured and unstructured data — in a multiprotocol, multiaccess collaborative environment. They enable Big Data analytics across the enterprise and lead to real innovation.

Supporting all data-intensive environments is a new category of storage, rack-scale flash, which combines network shared storage with direct attached storage (DAS) in a single environment. Agencies can seamlessly run mission critical applications faster, more efficiently and more reliably.

Taken together, these three technologies help agencies connect legacy to modern systems, see the full picture and make better decisions by breaking down information silos and efficiently running powerful, high-performance applications. They are supporting a more efficient and more agile government. Agencies will move toward the modern data center one step at a time, and these technologies are key enablers.