The key to unlocking your organization’s digital growth: new server trends

Sponsored By: IBM

The challenges and rising costs of growth
Digital transformation is an integral part of new growth strategies for businesses. The transformation starts from web and cloud infrastructure, then harnesses open source and next-gen apps, and finally arrives at advanced data analytics, predictive analysis, and cognitive analysis. All the benefits of digital transformation and growth come with their own challenges.

In the 2015 Worldwide Cognitive Software Platforms Forecast, IDC predicted that by 2018 more than 50% of developer teams will rely on machine learning and natural language processing to power their predictive and cognitive analysis. These new technologies combined with the slow development and high cost of proprietary database management systems has led to the number of open source component download requests increasing from 17 billion in 2014 to 31 billion in 2015 alone, as reported by Sonatype in its 2016 State of the Software Supply Chain Report. IDC also estimates a quadrupling of server management and administration costs between 2010 and 2020, as well as power, cooling, and datacenter footprint expense increases.

All of these factors point to the need for innovative technologies that go beyond the general-purpose architectures that have gained popularity.

Leaving the status quo behind
The key to unlocking your digital transformation journey is the infrastructure. Many organizations are quick to compare the status quo of available offerings in the server market without performing due diligence to learn about new architectures, technologies, and trends. They rely on “what everyone else is doing.” In doing so, they miss out on transformational opportunities that could give them a tangible competitive edge and allow them to scale faster and at a lower cost than previously possible. Two of these new opportunities are the shift towards open source and the emergence of acceleration technologies.

Open source
As stated earlier, open source software has seen a huge year-over-year increase in adoption. The trends towards open source bring a number of benefits to companies. The first is that development cycles of open source software match the more agile development practices being taken up within organizations. Whereas proprietary software can lag behind, leaving your development team with their hands tied, open source software is constantly being pushed forward and reacting to the changing landscape. It is also much easier for your internal team to customize and iterate upon open source software, making it a more flexible solution.

This open source adoption extends to database management systems (DBMS), which have been exclusively proprietary systems such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and IBM DB2 for many years. The hefty licensing fees, lack of flexibility, and high barrier to entry have created inroads for open source DBMS’s such as MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and Cassandra to gain popularity and become stable for enterprise usages.

Accelerated computing
Machine learning and natural language processing are becoming common technologies deployed even in non-technical companies. They allow systems to hypothesize answers to possible questions based on available data or discover hidden relationships in data to make accurate predictions. The more data there is, the more accurate the systems can be.

When it comes to crunching that much data in real-time, general-purpose computing architectures can only go so far. At a certain point, it becomes cost-ineffective to continue scaling up servers with more CPU’s to crunch more and more data. This has led to an increased adoption and development of accelerated computing technologies that simulate the capabilities of high-performance computing servers in more cost-effective one- or two-socket servers. Without new acceleration technologies, the workloads and data sets will out-scale the available server infrastructure available to most organizations.

What’s next?
IT infrastructure provides organizations an opportunity to make choices that will grant them significant advantages in their competitive markets. This can only be achieved if you’re willing to step outside of the status quo and explore new offerings, technologies, and trends such as open source and accelerated computing technologies. Are you missing out on benefits of next-gen technology? Download the report for a deep-dive on how you can accelerate your growth and future-proof your business.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Sponsored By: IBM