Data centers today are complex entities with a wide range of technology products that require considerable effort to maintain and operate. According to studies by both IDC and Gartner, this complexity reaffirms the notion that the cost of infrastructure acquisition is only a small part of the total cost of operating and maintaining that asset through the years (Infrastructure & Power - IDC, Admin ratios and costs – Gartner, Analysis and Interpolation: ISG S&P). Indeed, operating expenses can be up to three times more than the cost of acquiring the infrastructure assets, as shown in the following figure:
One way to reduce these operational costs is through infrastructure automation. Regardless of the industry vertical, company size, or geography, investments in automation are occurring today, and Dell expects that those investments will double in the next 2 to 3 years.
Figure 2. Percentage of IT infrastructure automation—current and near future, per survey of more than 200 Dell Technologies customers
The reduction of repetitive tasks through automation is becoming an essential priority. IT budgets dedicated to automation are increasing year by year, growing to almost a third of the global IT budget for many companies worldwide over the next few years (Data Center Automation Trends, an internal Dell Technologies sponsored survey of more than 200 customers worldwide).
Figure 3. Percentage of annual IT budgets for automation—current and near future, per survey of more than 200 Dell Technologies customers
Infrastructure automation does not only save time, but it creates higher-quality outcomes, with fewer errors and more secure operations. As with any other core data center projects, automation efforts must be planned, built, tested, and maintained over time. These efforts require a well-designed strategy along with a wide range of skills, tools, and technologies.
Figure 4. Automation requirements
VxBlock Central Workflow Automation provides the framework that IT departments need to develop and implement their automation strategy.