The new modern infrastructure:

After 20 years of life, the myth of the cloud being everything to everybody is dead. Gartner predicts that data processing outside the centralized cloud or data centers is going to grow from 10% to 75% by 2025. Costs, latency, security, scalability, compliance, and privacy needs are catalyzing the need for this IT transformation. This creates tremendous challenges for the current IT infrastructure, which is only going to increase with time and data. 

“Computation and storage will be done closer where to the information is created”

First, the once-monolithic model with centrally located compute and storage infrastructure far exceeds estimated cloud costs by executives and is no longer a viable business option for all applications. This has pushed businesses to own part of their infrastructure and adopt a hybrid model which includes public clouds, private clouds and on-premises data centers. 

In addition, new applications such as fire alarms, collision and environmental hazard detecting require microsecond delays which is not possible to achieve with a cloud implementation. Computation and storage needs to be done closer to the device creating a need for a new layer in the infrastructure called edge computing to provide extremely low latency which has opened the doors to life saving applications. This will be compounded even more with the emergence of 5G, which will enable many new apps.

Moreover, with reduced costs of sensors, data is being captured at rates unheard of in the past. A connected car has over 200 sensors and generates 4 TB per day per car. An airline has over 6000 sensors capturing 2.5 TB per day per aircraft. Weather forecasting requires close to 5PB of data every day. Generating centralized insights from these vast amounts of data is very costly if not impossible, demanding a new decentralized approach to insight generation. 

Lastly, there is an incredible amount of risk to consider, including increased opportunities for data breaches as well as greater compliance and regulatory changes to manage. This is compounded by struggles with supply chains and the need to work with global partners to help address a range of operational issues. 

“The newest IT platforms do not look anything like the traditional IT of the past.”

Building enterprise applications today is becoming fundamentally different than it was even 3 years ago. While the move to the cloud was the first wave of transformation managers had to go through, the Edge flips the IT infrastructure and the very design of applications. 

Companies must look beyond established practices to accelerate the pace of translating business needs into application opportunities and come to grips with the fundamental challenges of the new infrastructure for distributed applications, connected devices and Artificial Intelligence. 

The newest IT platforms do not look anything like the traditional IT of the past. Now, security serves as the IT infrastructure’s foundation and everything is built around that. A hyper-converged architecture focuses on resource optimization and faster innovation. There are also cloud-only and hybrid-cloud implementations that define today’s modern IT platform.  

Now, there is a dilemma about whether to focus on software maintenance cycles versus hardware with more frequent refresh cycles. Yet, hardware still has other issues like how to select what to use because there is such a high volume and diversity among devices. Besides the growing complexity among software, hardware, and devices, companies are also trying to solve for the accelerating influx of data.  

A new type of application not based in the cloud requires new hardware, new software, as well as a new way to upgrade and maintain them both. This is a very big challenge as our next survey shows that deploying those applications the right way will be one of the key success criteria to generate the right level of ROI.

Arrow, Lenovo and Microsoft are at the forefront to resolve those challenges and have partnered to help enterprises update their IT infrastructure, offering a comprehensive platform for the most demanding distributed workloads.

ReadWrite Labs invited thought leaders from Arrow, Microsoft and Lenovo to discuss their effort in the space and discuss their approach to the next generation of platform during a webinar. To learn more about how you can implement, maintain and scale this new type of infrastructure and the solutions available through Arrow, check out the webinar recording or download the presentation here.