Digital Business Needs Modern Infrastructure

Characteristics of a Digital Business

Digital businesses drive today’s economies all over the world. The pandemic accelerated the continual creep of companies moving online. Indeed, even traditional brick-and-mortar businesses are forced to provide online shopping and delivery or pickup options. One characteristic of this transition to digital business is the need for speed. Change is inevitable, but your competitive advantage often comes down to understanding your markets and customers and quickly responding to new products or services.

The load on the infrastructure is significant. The ability to accommodate new application development and delivery tools such as DevOps or MLOps on Kubernetes is critical in today’s competitive markets. Today you need to be able to scale seamlessly to keep up with the growth brought on by the digital business. You must adapt quickly to new business models, which might require more analytic workloads or different transactional models. Finally, every change needs to make economic sense and build for the future.

How Traditional Architecture Holds Digital Business Back

It’s easy to criticize silos in IT. They are inefficient. They don’t scale well. They may not be very fast. They use expensive replication to protect data. Management is a headache. But silos exist for a reason. They solve a business problem NOW. As long as tactical thinking prevails, the silo will live, and for some applications, that’s OK. But to succeed in the Digital Business world, it is not enough. Strategic thinking is required.

In an article, The Cost of Cloud, a Trillion Dollar Paradox, Andreessen Horowitz’s capital management authors express a strong opinion on the importance of infrastructure. In this article, they posit that the long-term survival of companies may well come down to their infrastructure decisions. Public Cloud may be a great way to start a business, but you need to plan to repatriate to an on-prem solution as you grow to gain control of your infrastructure and reap the economic benefits.

Modern Infrastructure to the Rescue

Modern infrastructure has several characteristics that separate it from traditional infrastructure approaches. Scale is an excellent place to start and is the common weakness of silos. Growth shouldn’t be limited by your architecture; it should be designed at the start. A recent technology that creates a more evenly distributed workload is the data processing unit (DPU). Fungible created the DPU to address CPU bottlenecks that can inhibit growth. By putting power into the infrastructure with a dedicated processing unit, things can be done much more efficiently. For example, storage and networking services can occupy 50% of a CPU, and by moving that workload to an optimized DPU, newly available CPU capacity creates the opportunity for server consolidation, or the addition of new applications without buying more servers and, indeed, can extend the useful life of existing servers.

What does it take to get started with DPU-Based Storage (DBS)?

  •         100GbE with 2-tier leaf-spine-NVMe/TCP is easy to add on top
  •         2x25GbE at the compute server
  •         On-prem data center (or co-lo)
  •         1PB now or soon
  •         Scale-out architecture
  •         Modern middleware

Getting started on modern infrastructure isn’t hard. Storage is probably the easiest way to get going. Fungible DPU-based Storage can connect to your existing Ethernet network and uses modern NVMe over Fabrics protocol with your existing switches and cabling. Storage services are composable by volume, so you can tailor your storage volume to meet application requirements for data protection, compression, encryption, and quality of service. A 100Gb Ethernet network with a 2-tier leaf-spine topology will do nicely to move to the next step. This approach creates the foundation for a scale-out architecture that will take you where your business needs to go, supported by modern infrastructure designed to scale for success.

To learn more about Fungible’s modern infrastructure check out our Fungible Storage Cluster solution page, or click here to request a demo.