Take advantage of the data centre revolutionBy Barry McMahon,
With the economic recovery we’re seeing a lot of companies looking to refresh their IT and take advantage of advances in technology that have occurred since the last time they invested in infrastructure and services.
They usually want to talk about the cloud, but they are not always sure what the cloud can do for their businesses. It often helps to give them a brief history of the data centre, because it’s there that the evolution in infrastructure has fundamentally changed the way IT services are delivered.
BT has always been at the forefront of data centre services, constantly innovating in a fast-changing market that began with co-location services around the time of the dotcom boom in 2000. Over the course of the decade virtualisation became the defining technology that would trigger the cloud revolution.
Virtualisation became the new norm, requiring new skill sets which BT was quick to embrace. We use these skills to offer a managed service wrap around our data centre and hosting services. We supplement the rack, power and cooling with BT expertise to relieve our customers, not just of the burden of physically building and operating their own server room but also of managing and maintaining it. In addition our data centre teams are trained and up-to-date with the ITIL and IT service standard ISO 20000, ensuring best practice service provision and on-going service improvement as cornerstones of all our data centre solutions.
We have also tackled the single biggest concern around date centres and cloud services – security. BT was one of the first providers to achieve ISO 270001, a protocol that demonstrates security is process-driven and embedded in everything we do. Because it’s externally assessed on a regular basis, it also means it gets better all the time.
Meanwhile, the relentless pace of technological innovation shows no sign of abating. Along with virtualisation, the other big change has been the emergence of converged infrastructure. Servers, storage and networks can be scaled up and down instantly to meet the changing demands of your business.
Where is the data centre revolution taking us?
All this adds up to increasingly service-centric data centres, where we make it our business to give customers the scale and flexibility they need. We do this with our integrated capability portfolio known as BT Compute. The BT Cloud Compute platform is a usage based, pre-provisioned data centre service that enables our customers to create, deploy, monitor and manage an assured cloud service from BT, including virtual machines, networks and storage across public and private cloud.
Bringing us bang up to date, BT use our MPLS network to offer customers connectivity to an ecosystem of cloud services that include Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services as well as our own BT data centres.
This puts BT at the cutting edge of IT and leading this data centre revolution, as we enter the era of hybrid IT services. Implicit in our approach is recognition that one size does not fit all, that every enterprise will want its own unique mix of IT services. They might, for example, take Office 365 from Microsoft, some compute power from Amazon for “test and dev”, and core infrastructure from a private cloud managed by BT.
Not so long ago, organisations were stuck with legacy systems and expensive upgrades. They were frustrated by the lack of flexibility and losing out to start-ups that had the competitive advantage of going straight to the cloud. Now, in a hybrid world, any business has the option of tapping into converged infrastructure.