IT Organizations today have to address competing demands from their end users, data explosion from distributed applications, new security threats, technology disruptions and maintaining legacy infrastructure. IT teams, big and small, are working hard to stay ahead of this curve, become more efficient and agile to address current and future needs.
California Department of Water Resources, was in a similar conundrum. “We deliver critical applications that need various data center capabilities to function,” said Tony Morshed, Chief Technology Officer for the CNRA and DWR. “As we have evolved our data centers, we’ve always looked to improve performance and management efficiency. Most recently, we needed to make the data center much more agile to meet changing needs.”
While setting out to build their next generation data center, CA DWR, explored options that would reduce time to market for services and applications, give more control to their end users, and integrate cloud services for resilience, scale and flexibility. Their new data center, based on VMware’s vRealize suite for data center automation, orchestration and management, also included VMware NSX for network virtualization, provisioning, multi-tenancy and micro-segmentation. They chose Brocade VDX 6740 switches, built-in automation with Brocade VCS fabric technology and native integration with VMware NSX to enhance end-to-end data center performance, automation, resilience and reliability. This helped them realize their goal of a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC).
The journey to this transformation also included a cultural shift across CA DWR’s IT organization. Morshed says “Our moto is that we all succeed or we fail together. Our customers don’t really care if it’s one group or some other group. They just see us as IT”. To become successful, they broke down the silos between functional areas, and partnered with VMware and Brocade to educate their engineers about new technologies and enable teams to work together. This new paradigm of cross-functional collaboration enabled creating cross-domain workflow automation, and simplifying IT operations. Micro-segmentation further enhanced the security context by isolating applications and simplifying policy roll-outs.
As IT organizations struggle to keep costs under control, the SDDC approach saved time, money and accelerated service delivery. Morshed says “Financially we are so much better off. We are able to consolidate to four switches as our core. Not only are we saving money, we are saving rack space and cooling costs”. The outcome of this overall effort increased satisfaction from their end customers and management team. In addition, the cross-functional team work and cross-training enabled the IT team to standardize skills set, boost morale and increase productivity.
We live in a fast changing world. Adaptability and managing change is paramount to our survival. The learnings from CA DWR’s SDDC implementation are not only about how technology vendors can partner to provide the right solutions, but also about VMware and Brocade partnered with CA DWR’s IT team to help them with their technology and cultural transformation. By leveraging SDDC, CA DWR is extending their data center to the cloud to enhance the overall customer experience.
Learn more about how the CA Department of Water Resources implemented Software Defined Data Center: