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  • Advancements already push the future of HCI in surprising directions

    With a technology as new as hyper-converged infrastructure, it seems odd to be talking about the likelihood of significant changes in its development. Still, the future of HCI is beginning to take shape in ways that are more than mere incremental adjustments. Change is on its way -- and it looks like it's in a hurry.

    How can it be that the next wave of HCI innovation is already rolling in? Are the standard HCI product offerings already about to be overtaken?

    The cover story in this issue of Modern Infrastructure looks at these questions, examining how container-driven bundles and pay-as-you-go options could change how the future of HCI takes shape. If such innovations don't supplant the standard HCI appliance business model, they may at least create fresh approaches to HCI delivery and support.

    HCI has won early acceptance more quickly that many predicted, and vendors sense a big opportunity ahead. To capitalize, they are looking to address some of the key objections potential buyers raise. Greater flexibility in how HCI is configured and sold could be welcome news to IT organizations put off by the current options. And the ability to pay for what's being used as opposed to what's built into a particular appliance could change the minds of some skeptical decision-makers.

    Startups in the still-young market are looking to distinguish themselves by modeling their offerings on cloud services and incorporating container technologies. Vendors seen as the established players in the market may already be looking over their shoulders.

    Hyper-converged infrastructure isn't a traditional IT product, so maybe it makes sense that the future of HCI will veer from the expected path.

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  • Get smart about data integration for a truly smart city

    To avoid ending up siloed, city leaders should plan ahead and create a blueprint of how they want data to integrate and flow in their smart city. Continue Reading

  • Blockchain: Backbone for today's business, tomorrow's world

    Learn how Chinese multinational company Wanxiang is using blockchain technology not only as a manufacturer, but also in a smart city initiative. Continue Reading

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  • How to build your own hyper-converged computing platform

    Building your own HCI stack is within reach if you have the hardware, choose the right software and find the in-house expertise to manage the parts. That's a big 'if.' Continue Reading

  • 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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  • 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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