The modern data center isn’t just a static physical location like it may have been in the past. Instead, from the perspective of the critical workloads, the data center has become a mixture of physical locations cobbled together with various tools and procedures.
For too many data center elements—particularly when focusing on storage—the actual implementation of solutions means that the administrative experience is not optimal. The fact is that the data center remains in a state of constant change. New equipment is regularly rotated into the environment to solve problems and to replace aging systems. Moreover, changing business needs means that these systems are often called upon to try to meet needs for which they were not originally intended.
At the same time, companies continue to virtualize more and larger workloads. Virtualization began as a way to save money by consolidating low-powered workloads. It has since grown into the standard method by which even the largest mission-critical applications are deployed. However, there remain reasons why companies continue to forge ahead with applications that run on physical hardware rather than virtual, such as licensing restrictions and vendor support requirements. The downside to the physical-first approach, though, is that it becomes far more difficult to leverage many of the benefits of virtualization, which include workload mobility and easier scale. Further, a physical-only approach can be more expensive and less flexible than a virtual one.