In the past, most IT teams had to deploy new resources in silos to keep up with the massive growth in data from a growing number of business applications. And when you think about the evolution of data centers, who can blame them? As growth happened, changes were made in response. As new business applications became available, they were adopted but kept separate from other business applications because centralizing them all was inconceivable at the time.
As the data and number of business applications proliferate through a data center, you end up with a set of unintended consequences. Although it seems that you are growing your capabilities with more business applications, you ultimately end up with higher operational costs, lower productivity, and sacrifice flexibility. As these costs increase and eat up a bigger portion of the IT budget, the portion dedicated to new business initiatives or responding to application disasters gets smaller and smaller.
Today, more and more enterprise-level businesses are jumping on board with the strategy of a converged infrastructure. Rather than a silo-approach, the convergence works by pooling and sharing IT resources to give you a more centralized architecture with numerous benefits. By converging various IT components like servers, data storage devices, networking equipment, and software, your IT team will reap the benefits of:
- Increased agility
- Decreased complexity through virtualization and automation
- Enhanced efficiency of data centers through cloud computing
- Lower capital expenses and lower operating costs
Sounds great right? Before moving forward with a converged infrastructure approach, here are four things to consider making sure you are prepared and adopt a strategy that fits your needs.
- Technology Evaluation: Many organizations today are demanding transformative solutions to remain competitive. Before anything else can happen, management must be convinced of the value of convergence. To do this, IT needs to do its homework on existing assets and licenses to make a compelling case for new investment. Make sure all licenses are up-to-date, and that your existing assets have some shelf life and can support convergence.
- New Investment: Once you have taken a hard look at your asset management solution, and which assets and license agreements can support convergence, you can go to the next level of assessment. A deeper dive is in order. Look into requirements related to scaling hardware, and the physical, virtual, and cloud-based workloads that comprise your enterprise’s day-to-day operations. Also, make sure that you can demonstrate the projected ROI on an initiative of this magnitude, and more importantly, that it lines up with larger corporate initiatives.
- Define a Smart, Modern Infrastructure: Agility is the key enabler of digital transformation. It’s also key when considering the advantage of a converged infrastructure. By modernizing aging infrastructure, tools and processes, organizations like yours are better able to keep pace with their business demands. Considerations should be given to enabling a hybrid environment which supports mixed hypervisors, cloud resources and compute platforms.
- Vendor Selection: Once you have successfully secured the budget for convergence, it is then time to consider your vendor options. Since data is your most important asset, you need to consider if your data management platform supports your convergence roadmap. Make sure you address a couple things when looking for the right vendor for you. Do they have advanced data backup recovery solutions? Data is the lifeblood of your company, so make sure they can recover your data when disaster strikes, both quickly and intelligently. Also, make sure to understand whether this vendor is equipped to support your future needs of scaling hardware, servers, or other components.
Additional Hyper-Converged Resources
Nutanix X-Ray is a comprehensive hyperconverged infrastructure and enterprise cloud testing app, enabling organizations to evaluate any platform by automating the analysis of consistent performance and reliability. Using real-world test scenarios that negatively affect applications, such as the impact of taking many snapshots, or adding new workloads into existing mission-critical application clusters, X-Ray makes it possible to accurately understand the application impact throughout its lifecycle.
IDC White Paper – TCO Analysis Comparing Private and Public Cloud Solutions for Running Enterprise Workloads Using the 5Cs Framework. – IDC’s 2016 CloudView Survey, covering over 6,000 IT organizations around the world, revealed that 62.7% of the respondents are either already using or planning to use public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) for their infrastructure needs. For organizations undertaking digital transformation at the business level, cloud isn’t just about picking a service delivery model such as public or private cloud. They must complete the shift to a predominantly cloud-based IT environment in the next few years, but one of the most important elements in this shift will be to extend the value of mission-critical applications through cloud enablement products and services. Businesses are looking to transform their IT services to a cloud services model to enable rapid time to market for their applications, support continuous product innovation, have simple infrastructure management, and pay for only what they use — all these without losing control over their data.
ESG Research Insights Brief – The Role of Converged and Hyper-converged Infrastructure in IT Transformation – A company that transforms its IT infrastructure no longer has to rely on rigid, manual, siloed, legacy technologies. It sees a boost in IT operational speed, efficiency, scale, and cost effectiveness—tasks are automated, processes streamlined, and resources are freed up. Those IT-level improvements fuel a larger-scale digital transformation, allowing the company to thrive in today’s digital economy. It is able to out-innovate, out-think, and out-pace its competitors—ultimately becoming the disruptor, not the disrupted. It is possible to categorize a company’s degree of IT Transformation according to how extensively it has adopted: • Modernized data center technologies—e.g., converged/hyper-converged infrastructure (CI/HCI), All-Flash storage, software-defined networks and storage, virtualization, scaleout, and modern data protection.
Dell EMC VxRail Hyper-Converged Infrastructure – Powered by VMware vSAN and Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, VxRail is the only fully integrated, pre-configured, and pre-tested hyper-converged appliance on the market. VxRail transforms HCI networking and simplifies VMware cloud adoption, while meeting any HCI use case, including support for the most demanding workloads and applications.
Delivering a turnkey experience that enables our customers to continuously innovate, VxRail features next-generation technology that provides future proofing for your infrastructure, including NVMe cache drives, SmartFabric Services supported by Dell EMC Networking switches, advanced VMware Cloud integration through VMware Validated Designs (VVD) guidance, and automated tools and guides to simplify deployment of a secure VxRail infrastructure.
- Consolidates compute, storage, and virtualization with end to end automated lifecycle management
- Offers deep integration with VMware tools, including operational transparency with vCenter
- Automates network setup with SmartFabric Services, greatly simplifying and accelerating deployment
- Provides a single point of support for appliance software and hardware
Next-generation, multicloud hyperconvergence – The HX-Series provides unify compute, storage, and networking with cloud management. Our HyperFlex HX Data Platform is a high-performance, extensible distributed file system that supports multiple hypervisors with a wide range of enterprise-grade data management and optimization services.
Bridge to next-generation IT: HyperFlex is built on an API-driven architecture for the interoperability required by DevOps-style IT. It integrates into orchestration toolsets and cloud services.
Ready for emerging applications: The HX Data Platform is designed to support multiple hypervisors, containers, and bare metal to power existing and new cloud-native workloads.
Continuous innovation: HyperFlex will continue to expand the boundaries of hyperconverged infrastructure, drawing from innovation in Cisco UCS and ACI.
Have more questions? Connect with our team of infrastructure experts, we’ve been helping organizations for more than 30 year build mission critical infrastructure to support their enterprise applications.