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VMblog's Expert Interviews: DH2i Talks Best Execution Venue (BEV) - The Legs Needed for Any Successful Digital Transformation

interview dh2i bev 

To digitally transform your business, you must do more than simply adopt new digital technologies. Many companies think they're done if they simply tackle digitization - but unless you're strategic about it, you can easily miss the boat on the actual transformation. 

Today, we speak with Don Boxley, DH2i's CEO and Co-Founder, on this important topic.

VMblog:  Do you recommend one key overarching strategy as "best" to your customers for putting digital transformation into practice?

Don Boxley:  We definitely do not believe "one-size-fits-all."  What we do suggest to our customers is that whatever approach you choose, the most important first step is to ensure the products and processes that are selected can easily change and adapt as a company's-or their customers'-needs change.

VMblog:  It seems more so than ever, there is quite bit of uncertainly in the minds of business and IT executives when they are thinking about change.  So many seek to take the next steps towards digital transformation and know the stability and success (and their own jobs) of the organization depend on it.  Nonetheless, they are often hesitant to commit to a technology/strategy.  Is this what you are seeing?

Boxley:  Absolutely. Many IT and business professionals feel like they are in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" position.  They know they need to deploy new and innovative technologies and strategies in order to stay agile and competitive, but they don't want to invest in a technology or strategy that is right today, but so very wrong tomorrow. 

And, they are right to feel this way.  Everything is changing at breakneck speed.  Think about it...  Take groceries as an example.  Think about how purchasing groceries is evolving - from brick-n-mortar being your only choice, to truck delivery, to services like Boxed, even Target ships groceries, and now Amazon is in the game having purchased Whole Foods. 

Consumers of goods and services across virtually every vertical continue to become more and more savvy every day.  This is becoming a digitally driven business world.  And, if you cannot meet your consumers' demand and expectations for service, selection and price - they will just click to your competitor.

VMblog:  From a pure IT perspective, what are you seeing as the current key pain points?

Boxley:  Many of today's organizations are faced with managing a significant amount of legacy infrastructure. Hundreds of millions of operating systems have been installed for Windows and Linux, and an operating system doesn't exist in a vacuum-every OS is on some kind of server, whether physical, virtual or cloud.

Also, every server has a whole host of other components that go with it, from power and cooling, to storage and networking.

Most companies today are facing the dichotomous issue of having a ton of disparate infrastructure that needs to undergo transformation, but needing to do so in a way that minimizes business impact.

VMblog:  So, what can organizations do to harness infrastructure more dynamically so that they can remain open to the changing environment rather than stuck in one place? 

Boxley:  A strategy we recommend, along with numerous industry analysts, is to work towards a best execution venue (BEV) operational model.  BEV is defined as the configuration and location within an IT environment in which a workload can run at peak efficiency and performance. When you adopt a BEV operational model, you prioritize the ability to take workloads and move them independently of each other-to the BEV that makes sense for them, where they can contribute the most value.  Companies that do this experience significantly easier management of their environment, which in-turn enables faster transformation of their infrastructure.

With the growth of Linux and container-based applications in the enterprise, companies today are rarely just Windows or just Linux. If you walk into any major company today and ask "How many versions of this do you have, and how many editions of that do you have?" nobody's going to say, "We're just vanilla-we have only one edition of this and one version of that." That's just no longer realistic.

Since companies inevitably possess a mix of infrastructure, versioning and editions, the best thing they can do now is find a way to unify their disparate environment before continuing down the road of further technology adoption. In other words, they need to ensure unified Smart Availability across their environment to continue down the road to true digital transformation.

The ideal solution enables unified management of the multi-platform environments that legacy database applications-SQL Server, Oracle and more-necessitate. Ideally, it would provide the capability to sustain future needs around Docker containers as well. The key is for enterprises to have a way to do this without having to standardize their entire infrastructure on a single database or single operating system edition or version.

VMblog:  Are you talking about a strategy by which to encapsulate the chaos?

Boxley:  That's a great way to describe it. To me, the digital transformation is about having a tool that helps companies simplify that chaotic environment, allowing them to encapsulate their workloads on the fly. It's about the ability to move workloads from any host, to any host, anywhere, at any time-all within a disparate, heterogeneous environment. This approach optimizes enterprise operations by unlocking the freedom to dynamically move workloads to always run on their best execution venues.

Here's the bigger reason why this approach is a game-changer: when companies have the ability to encapsulate workloads and move them around, they can start to think differently about how they manage their applications. Instead of thinking, "I've got it here, running on this old box, and I've got to migrate it to this new box," migration is no longer the conversation piece. Instead, it becomes about moving each workload where it makes the most sense. Because it may be that the old box does some things pretty well, but for a certain time during the month, it would be nice to be able to take advantage of another capability on more suitable infrastructure.  

With the ability to dynamically move stateful instances and containers around, a company could take something that's running on a bare-metal box, move it to a virtual machine, take it to the cloud and then decide to move it back on-premises. Each of these processes can take place in a matter of seconds. In short, this offers a way for companies to start reimagining high availability. Instead of workload-specific targets, now workloads are free to move wherever they need to go to ensure best execution environment at any point in time. It's the ultimate enabler for enterprise adaptability-the legs needed for any successful digital transformation.

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Published Tuesday, November 14, 2017 8:08 AM by David Marshall
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