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8/1/2017

NEW July Blog: The Simple, Powerful, Complete Solution Called Hyperconvergence

Brad Rudisail, MCITP, MCSE, Virtualization Administrator, Network Engineer

There is an evolution in today’s datacenter that is beginning to take hold.  It is called hyperconvergence infrastructure.  The past couple of years have seen hyperconverged solutions developing at an incredibly rapid pace and taking hold in data centers of all sizes.  The incentive behind this movement is simple.  IT can no longer simply function as a support unit that expends the bulk of its resources performing mindless tasks in order to maintain proprietary equipment.    Due to the convergence of several paradigm-changing events such as the vast migration to the cloud, the global digital transformation and the consumerization of IT, the function of IT is changing along with the world.  IT must concentrate on value added projects that contribute directly to the profitability and success of the company.  To do this requires speed and agility.

This has not always been the case.  The traditional datacenter was segmented into various silos that limit its scalability, speed and performance.  Data silos are the most common example in which a data repository of fixed data is sequestered from the other facets of the datacenter.  These data silos are segmented because of location, data type, internal politics and competiveness as well as complex proprietary SANs which in turn require a high amount of technical specialization to manage.  In other cases, the datacenter is siloed by function such as computer, storage and networking.  Networking teams deploy and support the array of switches and routers that provide the network infrastructure as well as rack and cable the prescribed equipment.  Data specialists create and manage the LUNs and storage volumes while server admins install and maintain the server fleet. 

Another form of silo IT is skill-set silo in which highly skilled, highly compensated technicians who have years invested in their areas of expertise defend their turfs.  Whether a storage admin, server admin, network admin or DB admin, everyone was in separate IT due to specification.  Specialists may be prone to remaining loyal to the platform in which their skills are invested.  As a result, companies run the risk of becoming laggards to new technological innovation and processes rather than leaders.

Hyperconvergence is a quest for simplicity and efficiency.  The premise behind this new datacenter architecture is simple; combine resources and platforms that are currently disparate, wrap a management layer around the resulting system, and make it easy to manage.  It aims to bring as many platforms as possible under one umbrella.  Hyperconvergence is a software-defined platform that incorporates all functions into one package – server, data, networking and management.  Infrastructure is based on the scalable x86 platform that IT personnel is already familiar with.  The result is a minimal footprint that improves operational efficiency and improved performance.  This is what the software defined datacenter (SDDC) looks like.

With hyperconvergence, adding physical resources to the infrastructure is generally as simple as sliding the node into place in the chassis.  Automation then takes over, allowing internal system to configure the node and integrate it with the existing environment.  A simple click driven interface gives IT generalists the ability to manage the datacenter within one screen. 

One of the leading players in this new design concept is HPE, which offers a complete Hyper Converged Systems Portfolio.  In January of this year, HPE took a step to help clinch their leadership by purchasing SimpliVity.  Now called, HPE SimpliVity, IT departments can streamline and enable IT operations at a fraction of the cost of traditional and public cloud solutions by combining their IT infrastructure and advanced data services into a single, integrated solution.  HPE SimpliVity gives enterprises the ability to implement a hybrid IT solution, embracing both worlds of traditional IT and cloud computing in one platform.  It combines your entire infrastructure into a simple, flexible building block that you can easily scale out in order to meet the technology needs of your organization.

With policy-based VM-centric management, SimpliVity allows you to back up, restore, move, or clone a VM from a single console within three clicks.  Dependency on expensive proprietary hardware and specialized personnel is greatly diminished.  HPE’s SimpliVity’s flagship product offering is HPE SimpliVity 380, integrating the idea of combining infrastructure and advanced data services for virtualized workloads with the HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen9 Server.  The HPE SimpliVity 380 can easily expand or shrink configurations as your needs change, with each node supporting a large number of fully protected virtual machines (VMs).  Networked collections of nodes at both local and remote sites are managed as a single entity.  No more SANs, no more CLI commands, no more juggling multiple management interfaces.

If the digital business is about the convergence of people, business and things, then IT must act as a unified infrastructure designed for sharing, collaboration and quick deployments.   New Hyperconverged platforms such as those offered by HPE are exactly what enterprises need today.


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