Organizations are demanding that IT deliver the agility to respond to ever-changing business requirements while maintaining the performance and availability of existing services. Often, it is not equal to the task: the traditional data center environment — filled with point solutions, siloed architectures and underutilized systems — is ill-suited to meet today’s business requirements for fluid scalability and rapid provisioning of new services.

Disaster recovery has always been a difficult and costly proposition, and virtualization has upped the ante. Virtualization enables the consolidation of workloads onto fewer servers, increasing the business impact should any one physical server fail. As virtualization accelerates, more mission-critical applications are deployed on virtual machines (VMs), making effective disaster recovery even more critical in the highly virtualized environment.

IP telephony has become the foundation of business communications across industry sectors. Organizations of all sizes continue to replace traditional PBXs with IP-based phone systems. Research firm In-Stat has predicted that IP telephony penetration among U.S. businesses will reach 79 percent in 2013, compared to 42 percent at the end of 2009. According to Infonetics research, hybrid IP-PBXs account for nearly two-thirds of the PBX market, with pure IP-PBXs accounting for nearly one-third and growing at a rate of 4 percent.

As the pace of business growth and change continues to accelerate, many organizations are looking for alternatives to the traditional siloed IT infrastructure. Recognizing this need, key industry vendors have developed integrated infrastructure solutions that combine compute, storage and networking in a preconfigured and validated technology stack. These solutions accelerate application deployment and free IT from the “do-it-yourself” data center model in which significant time and resources are dedicated to sizing, configuring, integrating and testing systems.