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When hyper-convergence meets Cloud … great things happen


Dharmi.JPGBy Dharmendra Muthu, Product Manager, Converged Cloud, HPE 

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’re familiar with hyper-converged infrastructure, and how it integrates server, storage, networking and management in one compact appliance to deliver some really powerful software-defined capabilities. And of course you’re aware of the value that a cloud solution can deliver via self-service capabilities, a service catalog, and automation. But you may not be aware of the great synergies that you can achieve by combining these technologies, and what that can do for your data center. 

Let me put it this way: if your organization has achieved some of the benefits of virtualization and you want to extend and amplify them without a huge upfront investment, hyper convergence plus Cloud is a match made in IT-efficiency heaven. Here’s why: 

Wipe.jpg1. Hyper convergence gives you an easy way to dip your toes in the cloud. Excuse the mixed metaphor, but you know what I mean – with a hyper converged system, you can start small and fast with cloud and see how it can add value for your organization. 

And there’s a lot to be said for a phased approach to cloud. Take the self-service aspect for example, one of the key benefits of cloud. The cloud enables an enhanced level of end user independence via self-service portals & APIs, enabling you to pull together all the resources you need for a big project with a few strokes on a keyboard. All you have to do is create a template which, for example, might give you three web service VMs, two app service VMs, and one database. And then, with a click of a key or two, you have your service up and running. 

But as with any other technology change, the complexity lies not just in the infrastructure, but in the people and processes around it. What often happens (and I’m speaking from experience here, I’ve seen this in several cases) is that organizations build a top-notch self-service cloud environment for their customers – but no one uses it. People still end up picking up the phone and talking to the admin to get things done. That’s why it’s essential to start small, weave the right organizational processes around it, get it functional – and more importantly, get the lines of business/developers to use it – before embarking on “cloudifying” the whole datacenter. 

An excellent starting point for the cloud journey for organizations that have already virtualized is to think in terms of single virtual machines, rather than in terms of complex services that span across multiple machines and need a lot of advanced orchestration. For this kind of focused and phased approach, a hyper-converged infrastructure is ideal. 

2. Hyper converged infrastructure is compact and cost-effective. Typically, in many cloud implementations, you’re looking at a full, rack-size installation – a bladed enclosure, storage, top-of-rack switches. The price tag puts it out of reach of many small and midsize businesses that want to test cloud to see if they can make something out of the efficiencies it delivers. With a hyper converged system, everything you need is in one box, and the upfront investment is more manageable. You can get up to four times the compute in 75 percent less space than with traditional servers, along with reduced energy consumption for power and cooling.

3. You can achieve rapid time-to-value. Standing up a full-blown, cloud-capable infrastructure can be complex and time-consuming. What we’re hearing from many smaller and midsize companies, as well as cost-conscious larger organizations, is this: “I want just one, integrated, virtualized platform. Do as much config as you can in the factory, pre-populate it with the basic service catalog, and bring it onsite – make me productive on Day One.” And that’s exactly what happens with a hyper converged system.

4. You can put application development into overdrive. With extreme IT efficiency comes greatly increased agility. Hyper convergence plus cloud gives you an ideal development and test environment for new apps, whether they’re for your business end-users or for the marketplace. And that includes cloud-native apps. These days, we’re seeing increasing numbers of smaller organizations and startups creating cloud native applications using a new wave of products such as NoSQL databases (e.g Cassandra and MongoDB). There’s a whole array of technologies out there that you can tap into, if this an area you’d like to explore.

5. You get to choose: private, public, or hybrid cloud. The ease and convenience of the pay-as-you go public cloud model is attractive to many SMBs. But the traditional worries about security, compliance & data sovereignty, though much reduced these days, still weigh heavily on IT leaders. A hyper converged private cloud is a highly competitive alternative. While it does involve an up-front investment, it’s not as hefty as what’s typically required for traditional cloud infrastructures. And over, say, a 3-year period, the TCO could be quite a bit lower than with a public cloud strategy.

At the same time, you’re not restricted to private cloud, because a hyper converged solution supports a public cloud strategy too, or anything in between. What it really helps you to do is to rely on in-house infrastructure for your average use, and then turn to the public cloud when you have a spike in activity or a surge in demand. You probably won’t want to run your entire shop on public cloud, because over a few years you’ll likely end up paying a lot more.

HPE Helion CloudSystem enables you to pursue a hybrid cloud strategy on hyper-converged platforms. With its support for multiple hypervisors & public cloud providers, it is a great choice for companies looking for an open, hybrid “cloud in a box”.

If you’re looking for a Microsoft Azure-consistent cloud in a box, here’s great news: HPE has announced HPE Hyper Converged 250 for Microsoft Cloud Platform System Standard powered by Intel®. It’s a Microsoft Azure-consistent platform that gives you the flexibility to choose the specific mix of on-premise and public cloud capabilities that works best for your organization. For more info, see Whitney Garcia’s post Accelerate your path to the hybrid cloud with new HPE Hyper Converged 250 for Microsoft CPS Standard, and Aaron Spurlock’s Cook up your perfect Cloud recipe.

For a look at what’s involved in making the decision to invest in a hyper converged solution, check out this white paper: Top 10 Things You Need to Consider When Buying a Hyper-converged Infrastructure.

Related blogs:
Diana Zavala: HPE Hyper Converged 250 (HC250) for Microsoft keeps you going
Manoj Nair: Simplify smaller and remote office IT with HPE Hyper Converged Systems
Trevor Pott: How HPE hyper converged 250 with Microsoft CPS Standard ‘changes everything’
Travis Wert: Validated Blueprint for Delivering Virtual Workspaces with VMware Horizon and HPE’s HC 250 Solution
Karen Brown: Hyper-Converged Infrastructure: a Software-Defined Data Center in a Box

#AcceleratingSimplicity #HyperConverged


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