How CSPs can accelerate the data center

A new webinar, now available on demand, offers cloud service providers an overview of new IDC research, outlines roadblocks, and offers guidelines for future success.

  • April 16, 2024 | Author: Peter Krass
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Are you a cloud services provider—or a CSP wannabe—wondering how to expand your data center in ways that will both keep your customers happy and help you turn a profit?

If so, a recent webinar sponsored by Supermicro and AMD can help. Entitled Accelerate Your Cloud: Best Practices for CSPs, it was moderated by Wendell Wenjen, director of storage market development at Supermicro. Best of all, you can now view this webinar on demand.

Here’s a taste of what you’ll see:

IDC research on CSP buying plans

The webinar’s first speaker is Ashish Nadkarni, group VP and GM of worldwide infrastructure research at IDC. He summarizes new IDC research on technology adoption trends and strategies among service providers.

Sales growth, IDC says, is coming mainly in 4 areas: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), hardware (both servers and storage), software and IT services. The good news, Nadkarni adds, is that all 4 can be offered by service providers.

Data centers remain important, Nadkarni says. Not everyone wants to use the public cloud, and not every workload belongs there.

IDC expects that 5 key technologies will be immune to budget cuts:

  • AI and automation
  • Security, risk and compliance
  • Optimization of IT infrastructure and IT operations
  • Back-office applications (HR, SCM and ERP)
  • Customer experience initiatives (for example, chatbots)

Generative AI dominates the conversation, Nadkarni said, and for good reason: IDC expects that this year, GenAI will double the productive use of unstructured data, helping workers discover new insights and knowledge.

Supply-chain issues remain a daunting challenge, IDC finds. Delays can hurt a CSP’s ability to deliver projects, increase the cost of delivering services, and even impair service quality. Owning the supply chain will remain vital.

Other tactics for change, Nadkarni said, include offering a transformation road map; working with a full-stack portfolio provider; and developing a long-term vision for why customers will want to do business with you.

10 steps to data-center scaling

Next up in the webinar is Sim Upadhyayula, VP of solutions enablement at Supermicro. He offered a list of 10 essential steps for scaling a CSP data center.

Topping his list: standardize and scale. There’s no way you can know exactly which workloads will dominate in the future. So be modular. That way, you can scale in smaller increments, keeping customers happy while controlling your costs.

Next on the list: optimize for applications. Unlike big enterprises, most CSPs cannot afford to build application silos. Instead, leading providers will develop an architecture that can cater to all. That means using standard hardware that can later be optimized for specific workloads.

Common challenges

Suresh Andani, AMD’s senior director of product management for server cloud, is up next. He discusses 3 key CSP challenges:

  • Market disruption: Caused by a changing ISV landscape, and by increasing power and cooling costs.
  • Aging infrastructure: Service providers with older systems find them costly to maintain, unable to keep pace with customers’ business demands, and vulnerable to increasingly dangerous security threats.
  • Expanding demands: Customers keep raising the bar on core workloads AI, cloud-native applications, digital transformation, the hybrid workforce and security enhancements.

During the webinar’s concluding roundtable discussion, Andani also emphasized the importance of marrying the right infrastructure with your workloads. That way, he said, CSPs can operate efficiently, making the most of their power and compute cycles.

“Work with your vendors to provide the best compute solutions,” Andani of AMD advised. “Later you can offer a targeted infrastructure for high performance compute, another for enterprise workloads, another for gaming, and another for rendering.”

Lean on your providers, he added, to provide the right solution, whether your target is performance or cost.

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