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VersaStack by Cisco and IBM: what does it mean for the data center and the administrators in your organization?

3rd August 2015
by Karin van Erven

VersaStackBeing successful in 2015 means being able to make fast shifts. In these times organizations need to adapt rapidly to changing priorities. This requires a fast and reliable implementation of new IT applications. Organizations are in need of an IT infrastructure that is simple, efficient and versatile.

The solution lies in VersaStack by Cisco and IBM. It does however require a different approach by the IT department. What is VersaStack and what does it mean for the data center and administrators in your organization? In this blog I will be answering those questions.

VersaStack: what is it?

VersaStack is a scalable data center solution with server, storage and network components. IBM Storwize V7000 storage has been combined with Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus, Cisco MDS 9000 and Cisco UCS Director. This offers a complete IT infrastructure.

Physically VersaStack is supplied as a unit. One rack contains all components. This reduces the wiring to a minimum, which will lower the spent energy and heat development. More information on VersaStack can be found in this brochure [.pdf].

VersaStack: what does it mean for the data center in your organization?

VersaStack enables you to implement the infrastructure of the data center faster, to administrate data and resources more efficient, and makes adaptation to changes easier.

VersaStack is supported by Cisco Validated Design. Systems are built in a validated design, that is based upon existing techniques and common user applications. The design consists of a set of technologies, solutions and applications that have been tested and documented beforehand. This enables specialists to make more reliable and predictable solutions, that will reduce company risks and shorten implementation time.

VersaStack is ready for Cisco ACI. That possibility, combined with Cisco Intercloud Fabric, opens the door to the creation of open and safe hybrid cloud-ready solutions that will make IT more flexible, and will lead to improvements in the area of implementation, operational efficiency and simplicity.

Whether it is administrating the infrastructure from a central point, making easy changes while applications are still running, adding new applications in a fast and effortless way, or detecting and solving flaws quickly: the use of VersaStack will make the life of data center employees a lot less difficult. But it also has consequences for the way the administration is organized. For administrating a VersaStack is vastly different from administrating traditional systems.

How does administrating VersaStack work? And what does an organization have to do to make sure that administrators are ready for this new way of working?

VersaStack and administration

I already said it: the administration of a VersaStack is significantly different from the administration of, for instance, traditional systems. In traditional systems server, network and storage are more or less administrated separately. A VersaStack administrator will have to deal with the central control of the three lower layers of the stack: storage, network and server. Besides that the administrator will be using Unified Management, like UCS Director, which enables the management of the complete environment. This requires another mind set of the administrator.

What does an organization have to do to get ready for this change?

The transfer of an organization from an administration with separate management of storage, network and server to a fully integrated administration is important. This requires new knowledge and a new mind set of the administrators. Not only do they require proficiency of the management branch that was their first responsibility, they also need to inform themselves about storage, network and server.

Fast Lane has composed a VersaStack educational program for these administrators. These training sessions are concentrated on the complete management of VersaStack. Naturally it is possible for an administrator to specialize further in one of the components storage, network and server. The administrator develops an T-profile: a broad base in storage, network and server, with a specialization in one of these components.

This is the only way for an organization to manage VersaStack successfully. Is your organization ready for it?

Do want to know more about the VersaStack training sessions? In that case you can always contact me!

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