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  • Let application architecture and design take the stage in modern IT

    As the software-defined data center and DevOps methodologies hog the limelight, don't let application infrastructure design fall into the shadows. Continue Reading

  • Not playing games: The GPU vs. CPU question gets more interesting

    Putting thousands of cores to work makes perfect sense when you're powering a video game. But graphics processing units, or GPUs, can't serve much practical purpose in a corporate data center, can they?

    The GPU vs. CPU discussion isn't as odd as it sounds. In fact, a more broad application of GPUs in the data center can provide the processing punch that CPUs simply cannot. With tasks where data can be processed in parallel rather than in sequence, GPUs might be a particularly valuable tool. The cover story in this issue of Modern Infrastructure looks at scenarios where simultaneous processing can be just what's needed, such as with machine learning and artificial intelligence.

    This month's Modern Infrastructure also looks at how data can be protected while in the data center. Full encryption is seemingly a perfect defense for data theft. But that's a difficult -- and, to some, an unrealistic-- road to travel. We look at how an IT team can better safeguard its data, factoring in costs, the tools available and the tradeoffs involved in hack-proofing an organization's data.

    And what about the vulnerabilities that arise from within your business? We examine the risk of data loss posed by the shadow IT phenomenon, an ongoing and ever-changing challenge.

    It's clear that data is an increasingly valuable resource. Processing it and keeping it safe -- whether that entails taking up the question of GPU vs. CPU for certain workloads or upgrading encryption -- need to be priorities for IT professionals in organizations of all sizes and types.

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  • Stand-alone servers are alone no more

    Hyper-converged infrastructure has shaken up the server market, and stand-alone servers are certainly on "Treacherous Ground." The stand-alone server has been replaced by integrated appliances faster than it took you to read this sentence. And recent trends show that more bundling and integration is the future of data center hardware.

    But life isn't always difficult for IT pros, as these pre-validated appliances reduce time to deployment and offer a one-throat-to-choke support paradigm. But their jobs aren't exactly peachy. Hyper-converged infrastructure sets a new standard for speed and agility. In the age of self-service clouds, being a GUI-based admin responding to one-off user requests is no longer enough.

    The data center is changing. Don't wake up and realize you spent the time and effort to refresh your hardware -- but not your skills.

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  • Navigate recent changes to data center networking architecture

    Thanks to hybrid cloud and containers, data center networks are tougher to crack than ever. But IT can succeed if it follows a simple path. Continue Reading

  • IT's battle with data center networking changes

    Data center networking is no longer just a maze of physical cables; it's a tangled web of overlays and firewall rules. Database management is more than ensuring you have enough capacity as your company collects increasing volumes of data and expects real-time analysis.

    Yet users demand simplicity; they expect the underlying infrastructure to be invisible. Executives want IT to function like a utility. When they turn on the tap, they don't care about the plumbing required to deliver the water; they simply want it to work. This is the tension threatening to plunge IT shops into chaos -- to build and support ever more complex data center infrastructure while making it appear effortless.

    Nowhere is this tension more clear than the growing demand to store and digest big data. However, it's not just about big data networking today. It's about doing something with that data -- and doing it now. Curiously, technologies that once aimed to streamline operations have sometimes led to more complexity. Networking overlays, for example, have given operators the ability to steer traffic and create logical resource pools, but they also come with additional management overhead.

    All these topics and much more in this month's Modern Infrastructure.

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  • IT migration case study: Partner helps downsize data center

    HighVail, an IT consulting and professional services firm, helped Empire Life downsize its data center, migrate business applications and create a new disaster recovery site. Continue Reading

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