As an organisation what is the significance of data initiatives for Exide Life Insurance, and where does software designed data centres fit into the scheme of things?
We are in the process of transforming Exide Life Insurance into a data driven organisation, which is similar to our digital transformation journey. It’s not just putting out a few databases or a few analytical models, rather it has forced us to revisit our entire technology stack and business processes.
The software defined data centres are a pretty large scope. For example, almost all of our infrastructure is entirely virtualised, and gradually we are moving most of the applications to containers. We have implemented a container orchestration platform as well, to elastically scale infrastructure up and down, based on need within our data centre. On the networking side, we have software defined networking primarily for data centre and branch networks.
What are some of the key lessons learned in the evolution process of software designed data centres?
We require skillsets, who can think across all aspects of infrastructure, including hardware, operating systems, networking, applications, licensing and so on. Hence, getting the solution right the first time is just not purely a networking problem or not only a virtualisation problem, but we require changes across multiple aspects of infrastructure and storage.
It is critical for all different sub-departments of the infrastructure team to come together to work, including the specialists who can help us think end to end.
Secondly, the increased flexibility of software defined data centres accelerates an increase in complexity as well. Hence, it becomes necessary for us to upskill the team in managing new technologies and new tools.
What have been your efforts for developing the technical skills of your team to adapt to a software designed environment?
I constantly keep upscaling my team. We do create new competencies within the team to handle the various aspects, which could be on SDN, container management or on the storage.
Further, we are continuously partnering with specialised tech firms who bring in these skill sets, partnering with boutique companies that can demonstrate the required skill set.
What are the key benefits of software designed data centres?
The primary one is flexibility, elasticity is one big advantage. The data centre overall has become more resilient, more capable of withstanding failures across the stack, they’re more resilient to component failures.
And thirdly, we are using our resources, our capital investments more effectively.
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