Organisations both large and small are increasingly being asked to do more with less when it comes to their IT infrastructure.
Couple this with the need for IT to help them drive innovation, using data insights and delivering true agility to the business, is a traditional Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) architecture right for them?
Or is a new disaggregated Hyperconverged Infrastructure (dHCI) more fitting for the business of the future?
One factor that remains the same is the importance of HPE partners in identifying the infrastructure that will work for you.
This is according to Matt Shore, HCI Business Development Manager, Data & Storage Solutions, UK&I, Middle East and South Africa, at HPE.
Automation and intelligent management are becoming must-haves for IT decision makers as customers demand robust, resilient and highly available IT systems.
HPE’s Simplivity and dHCI platforms enable our customers to step into this future with intelligent, hyper-efficient HCI solutions that are optimised for the edge, virtual desktop infrastructure and general virtualisation workloads.
In essence, HPE Simplivity is a powerful, enterprise-grade Hyperconvergence Infrastructure (HCI) platform that unites an organisation’s servers with high-performance data services that streamline IT operations.
HPE Simplivity is a complete hyperconverged solution that supports a full range of business needs – from consolidating IT infrastructure to protecting data, to simplifying remote office IT and freeing IT staff to focus on innovation.
However, an imbalance with HCI deployments commonly occurs as very few applications growing compute needs increase at the same rate as storage.
Kallisteen Govender, HPE Business Unit Manager at Pinnacle, adds “On the other hand, while dHCI is similar to HCI in that it allows storage, compute and networking to all be managed from a single management plane – unlike HCI – dHCI does not need to deploy storage in lockstep with compute.”
Uncoupling storage from compute
This means that as enterprise data continues to grow exponentially, dHCI provides the ability to upgrade just storage by uncoupling it from compute, giving data centres the agility to grow their deployments holistically.
However, each platform brings advantages to their respective markets.
Simplivity is well suited to the small business and retail sector, with few branch offices.
This type of business typically deploys a singular server and thus has a single point of failure, or simply lack having high-availability backup and disaster recovery capabilities.
Adds Kallisteen, “These businesses often rely on traditional tape-based or some form of archive media for backup and recovery.”
“But in the case where a server fails, recovering data from such systems is an extremely lengthy process, which can lead to costly downtime.”
Simplivity provides built-in backup and recovery that is integrated into the architecture, allowing businesses to set backup policies to back up their virtual machines (VMs), as well as self-replication policies to replicate data to a central resource.
This creates a streamlined business continuity approach, which is also suited to a two-server footprint as it ensures high-availability when one server fails.
“Yet dHCI as a platform is best suited to medium and large enterprises with mixed workloads. dHCI is essentially the Swiss Army Knife of IT infrastructure, as the disaggregated approach ensures that the infrastructure is versatile and cost effective,” says Shore.
Removing manually complex tasks
With dHCI, enterprises can get rid of many manually complex tasks and benefit from seamless processes, delivered via a flexible and agile platform. Customers will also not experience bottlenecks, as they will have the ability to be proactive in terms of adding the capacity they need.
From the perspective of an IT administrator or director, dHCI streamlines their operation, while for the end user customer, the IT infrastructure becomes completely invisible.
Kallisteen adds, “dHCI deployments also address business challenges that often come down to Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of infrastructure and Return on Investment (ROI).”
“Should the organisation’s storage requirements change within a short space of time, a traditional HCI platform upgrade would be a very costly investment, requiring additional nodes.”
“In the case of dHCI, organisations can simply add an extra storage disc, ensuring that the investment becomes very cost effective over the life span of the infrastructure.”
“Customers often do not know what’s lying ahead for their organisation in the next year or two, so flexibility is a huge value add, especially for larger deployments.”
So, when future growth is unpredictable, dHCI is a great place for the customer to start.
However, if a customer has a multi-site or edge deployment, is concerned about ransomware and also values the all-in-one approach – HPE Simplivity is likely to be the better fit.
Shore concludes, “Consulting with an HPE distributor, such as Pinnacle, will ensure that the correct solution is established, implemented and supported throughout, in order to make your digital transformation journey that much easier.”