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RackN Bridges the Gap Between People and Platforms

Operators would love to shout “slow down,” but we can’t. Technology is changing at such a tremendous rate that the processes that drove IT operations five years ago are drastically different today. The rise of public cloud and a vast new landscape of tools and methodologies have made it harder for organizations to keep up with the pace. The ability to automate has become a dominant skillset enterprise IT requires when it comes to deploying applications at scale.

Recently, I met with the RackN team to discuss how automation has become so pervasive but inconsistent in the tech industry. Their goal is to make sure that the automation that companies build is reliable. This starts with IT Ops and the challenges of deploying infrastructure at scale. RackN is meeting these challenges head on, empowering IT Ops with the ability to manage infrastructure in a way that meets the demands of this new era of IT.

The Intersection of Tech and People

Modern IT is not only seeing an evolution of the tech that is used to build applications, but also the roles and skills required to operate modern data centers. Thankfully racking, stacking, and cabling are not the resume-enhancing skills sought by many people these days. The requirement to lift 50 pound servers may be past, but metaphorically juggling them remains critical.

IT Ops is now focused on understanding the services that need to be available and the automation that is used to deploy servers at scale. This has caused an obvious shift in both the skills companies value for IT professionals and which technologies those in IT seek to level up on.

The last few years brought a focus on DevOps as way to label the shift that is happening in this space. This has led to the term DevOps being used in many different ways, from describing specific tools to being an in-demand IT engineering role. Regardless of the true meaning of DevOps, it is a way to understand the shift that modern IT has brought to how organizations align people and technology.

It All Starts with Apps

Businesses understand that applications are the major driver of value. This has brough app development into the forefront of in demand skills for IT professionals. Where traditional infrastructure resulted in organizational silos between IT and “app dev,” the agility and scalability of modern applications requires that those silos are broken down for Enterprise IT to be most effective. Blazing-fast deployment cycles and agile methodologies mean that security, governance, and standardization are critical tenets of infrastructure management. These critical goals often fall to the IT Ops team.

This shift requires improved platforms for organizations to build environments that effectively drive operational excellence. Many traditional IT vendors have cloud-ready products available or have acquired cloud-native pieces along the way. One look at the dizzying CNCF vendor landscape shows how many up-and-coming vendors are looking to stake their claim in this space. Yet these cloud-focused application platforms intentionally leave out infrastructure concerns.

Where Does This Leave Infrastructure Platforms?

Infrastructure may seem to be an afterthought, but there is still an incredible amount of hardware that IT Ops teams need to build and maintain. Some of those jobs will end up going to public cloud hyperscalers, but many large organizations oversee vast amounts of private cloud and edge locations. As quickly as cloud “became a thing,” cloud repatriation has begun to creep into the conversation. Data locality, security concerns, and industry regulations all ensure that one size will never fit all. Most companies will consume a combination of hybrid cloud resources to run their business.

IT Ops teams aren’t going away, so their skills and tools must be constantly evolving. That is why Digital Rebar from RackN is such a powerful product: It can be the glue for IT Ops to empower developers to focus on driving business value while providing a consistent infrastructure management platform. In the following posts, I will highlight how the bare metal provisioning, infrastructure pipeline, and self-service portal backend use cases for Digital Rebar prove that RackN has brought infrastructure provisioning to the modern age.

RackN Tech Talks 2023

This post is part of a series of Gestalt IT Tech Talks focused on RackN. You can learn more on the RackN website or watch their presentations from Cloud Field Day. The complete series is listed in order below:

About the author

Adam Fisher

Cloud DevOps Engineer at RoundTower, 10+ years in the IT industry focused on all things data center, Blogger, vExpert, Hokie.

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