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Pro Q&A: Why speeds and feeds aren’t enough in data centers

May 31, 2019

We hear a lot of mixed information when it comes to speeds and feeds in the data center. Are they still the primary focus? Are they becoming less relevant? What other technology should share equal billing?
 
To get real-world answers from the front lines, we sat down with Samuel Alt, supervisor, pre-sales technical solutions at Ingram Micro.
 
What’s your immediate reaction to the term “speeds and feeds” for data centers?
Have you ever bought something with the understanding it would be exactly what you wanted, but you quickly became disappointed? Welcome to speeds and feeds. Don’t get me wrong, speeds and feeds are important, but in the modern data center, it’s not all about the parts, but the sum of them all. We need to think about the aggregate.
 
What’s an example of “aggregate thinking” in the data center?
Software and management. If one of our customers just wants add cores, my team makes sure they’re not overinvesting in cores and underinvesting in off-prem options. For example, if you buy 100 cores to speed up multitasking, but only use 2 of them, that’s 98 wasted cores. The use of cores is dependent on software, and cloud enables you to optimize them.
 
Why is the data center conversation shifting away from just speeds and feeds?
Not long ago, we were living in the golden age of OEM. Everything was on-prem. It was a big deal for companies to say, “Our data center runs at this speed.” Today, we’re nearly software-agnostic, so it’s not all about OEM and on-prem hardware. Cloud and hybrid cloud environments have taken some of the focus away from in-house speeds and feeds.
 
How important is an investment in cloud or hybrid?
They’re both critical for meeting customer expectations in this age of data. End users these days have what I call “millennial expectations”—I want everything and I want it now. (I can say this because I’m a millennial.) Cloud and hybrid environments make this possible. You also get to test, break and fix stuff in the cloud, which is less of a risk than real-world testing.
 
How can Ingram Micro help companies build a modern data center?
Our size and expertise make us invaluable to our customers—we can do everything covered in this blog. No matter your stage in the data center journey, our consultants meet you where you are. Also, we save organizations from investing in technology they don’t need. We can customize the perfect combination of on-prem, cloud or hybrid.
 
Not sure what to do with your data? Call us. We can do BTC (Business Transformation Center) walkthroughs and show dashboards on how that data can be optimized. If we’re building your data center from the ground up, we take care of everything, test it and make sure it’s correct out of the gate. If you’re later in the journey, we can modify your data center or act as a validation piece.
 
Also, it doesn’t hurt that we have one of the largest cloud marketplaces in the world.
 
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