Enterprise IT infrastructure -- namely, the data center, that centralized repository built to manage the storage, management and dissemination of all company information -- is undergoing an evolution that would have been hard to envision even a decade ago.
Data centers were initially built as siloed physical infrastructures dedicated to specific networks, servers and storage systems, usually serving specific company applications. As companies accumulated more and relevant and valuable data, data centers grew larger and required additional hardware such as backup power supplies, data communications connections, security components, cooling mechanisms and fire suppression in order to run smoothly.
Over time, it became clear that this traditional enterprise IT infrastructure wasn't necessarily cost-effective or environmentally friendly. The advent of cloud computing providers, which host data and operations at off-site facilities, provided an opportunity for enterprises, giving CIOs more choice in how to configure their IT infrastructure. Organizations are now freer than ever to embrace green IT initiatives, outsource data center operations or consider a converged infrastructure that combines the best of both worlds.
This CIO Essential Guide on this new breed of enterprise IT infrastructure is part of the CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.