Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 67 | Page 27


In the Middle East and Africa ( MEA ) market , we observe that many customers are developing their existing capacities to fulfil Business Continuity needs and move some of their services to the cloud . Hosted data centres have become the model of choice for small to mid-size companies . Organisations continue to invest in data centre infrastructure primarily for security and compliance reasons . But due to cloud evolution , some customers are shifting to hybrid cloud infrastructure using private cloud data centre infrastructure and integrating the systems with public cloud infrastructure .

In this regard , CIOs can minimise the data centre footprint by using hyperconverged infrastructure ( HCI ) and rely on cloud-based applications and virtual desktops delivery instead of high-end PCs with high energy needs .
Virtualisation ( for servers and networking ) presents several tangible benefits , such as reduced operating cost , improving application performance , minimising downtime and reducing heat build-up .
Given this progress with converged infrastructure ( CI ) and the benefits it brings to organisations , this type of infrastructure is the future of data centres .
Converged infrastructure comes with several benefits over traditional data centre infrastructure for organisations such as scalability , reduced time-toproduction and reduced operational overheads . CI and HCI also reduce deployment risk and speed time to application deployment , bringing new services to market rapidly . Due to the numerous advantages of HCI , it is experiencing exponentially growth in the MEA region .
Add to that , a software-defined data centre is the key to optimise server infrastructure while delivering high-density data centre deployment , along with converged / hyperconverged infrastructure solutions and infrastructure management , monitoring and automation solutions , to allocate the required resources according to demand . Dockers and microservices must also be considered by CIOs .
That said , the top challenges in the data centre space include : burgeoning costs related to operational overheads , high maintenance cost , end-to-end monitoring and capacity issues .
It ’ s important that CIOs ensure a secure network , especially with the evolving and growing threat landscape , maintain high availability with minimal downtime and push for the development of intelligent data centres to support current and future technologies .
Due to the many advantages , HCI would be in high demand in 2021 . Similarly , NVMe storage compatible with legacy servers will be sought after as organisations look to ramp up their capacities to meet the rising demand .
Aside from that , CIOs tackle the skills challenges in the MEA market data centre sector head-on .
In the short-term , the quick fix for CIOs facing skills challenges is to migrate to the cloud or to hosted data centres . For the long run , the team should be encouraged to add new skills by engaging people with new technology skills such as virtualisation , HCI and networking . Most importantly , do not limit teams to maintaining and monitoring their data centre only .
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