When one examines enterprise data protection and data storage products through the lens of hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) designs, one would think each product either supports an HCI architecture or it does not. But as one begins to see when one scrutinizes this topic, the answer is not a simple “Yes” or “No”. Nuancing how well or if a product fits into an HCI design, one first needs to think about the question or even the series of questions that he or she should ask to properly make this assessment.
At the end of the year people naturally reflect on the events of the past year and look forward to the new. I am no different. It is as I reflect on the past year and look ahead on how IT infrastructures within organizations have changed and will change, 2017 has been as transformative as any year in the past decade if not the past 50 years. While that may sound presumptuous, 2017 seems to be the year that reflects the tipping point in how organizations will build out and protect their infrastructures going forward.
Hyper-converged infrastructure appliances (HCIAs) radically simplify the next generation of data center architectures. Combining and/or virtualizing compute, memory, storage, networking, and data protection functions from a single vendor in a scale-out cluster, these pre-integrated appliances accelerate and simplify infrastructure deployments and management. As such, the stakes are high for Dell EMC and Nutanix who are competing to own this critical piece of data center infrastructure real estate.
Many organizations view hyper-converged infrastructure appliances (HCIAs) as foundational for the cloud data center architecture of the future. However, as part of an HCIA solution, one must also select a hypervisor to run on this platform. The VMware vSphere and Nutanix AHV hypervisors are two common choices but key differences between them persist.
Organizations have come to the realization that using disk as a backup storage target does more than simply solve backup problems. It creates entirely new possibilities for recovery. But as they recognize these new opportunities, they also see the need for backup solutions that offer them new options for application availability and recoverability backed by ease of management. The latest DataPlaform 4.0 release from Cohesity moves organizations closer to this ideal.
In today’s business world where new technologies constantly come to market, there are signs that indicate when certain ones are gaining broader market adoption and ready to go mainstream. Such an event occurred this month when a backup solution purpose built for Nutanix was announced by Comtrade Software.
The Internet has eliminated any excuses for not having access to the information that individuals need to make informed buying decisions about products and/or services. However, providing easy, ready insight that quickly and easily compares IT infrastructure solutions… well, let’s just say Google does not address that challenge. Using DCIG and its Competitive Intelligence Suite, organizations get the tools and services they need to first aggregate research on IT infrastructure solutions and then quickly and easily generate reports that compare product features and services.
The DCIG 2017-18 Hyperconverged Infrastructure Appliance Buyer’s Guide weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of twenty-four (24) products from five (5) vendors that achieved rankings of Recommended or Excellent. Using ranking categories of Recommended and Excellent, this Buyer’s Guide offers much of the information an organization should need to make a highly-informed decision as to which hyperconverged appliance will suit their needs.
Enterprises now demand higher levels of automation, integration, simplicity, and scalability from every component deployed into their IT infrastructure and the integrated backup appliances found in the DCIG’s forthcoming Buyer’s Guide Editions that cover integrated backup appliances are a clear output of those expectations. Intended for organizations that want to protect applications and data and then keep it behind corporate fire walls, these backup appliances come fully equipped from both hardware and software perspectives to do so.
Evaluating product features, comparing prices, and doing proofing of concepts are important steps in the process of adopting almost any new product. But once one completes those steps, the time arrives to start to roll the product out and implement it. In this second installment of my interview series with System Architect, Fidel Michieli, he shares how his company gained a comfort level with Cohesity for backup and disaster recovery (DR) and how broadly it decided to deploy the product in the primary and secondary data centers.
Anyone in attendance at VMworld last week in Las Vegas and walking through the exhibit hall where all of the vendors showcased their wares could hardly miss the vast numbers of hyper-converged infrastructure and hyper-converged like vendors in attendance. Cisco, Dell, EMC, HPE, Nutanix, Maxta, Cohesity, Pivot3, Rubrik, Simplivity and Datrium, just to name a few, and I am sure there were others. Yet what caught my attention is speaking to their representatives and some of their users is how storage remains a factor in the architecture of hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions.
Hyperconverged infrastructure solutions stand poised to disrupt traditional IT architectures in every way possible. Combining compute, data protection, networking, memory, scale out, storage, and virtualization on a single platform, they deliver the benefits of traditional IT infrastructures without their associated complexities. But as organizations look to consolidate on hyperconverged infrastructure solutions, they need data protection services such as Pivot3’s Quality of Service (QoS) feature now found on its vSTAC SLX Hyperconverged product that enables organizations to better protect their applications.
Change. Digital transformation. Disrupt. Eat your own young. These were just some of the terms and phrases uttered at this past week’s HPE Discover event in Las Vegas by HPE executives at all levels of the organization. Yet in the face of the changes that are about to sweep through the technology industry, a technology provider that touches as many organizations around the world as HPE does needs to have more than this type of mindset. It needs to have the products and strategy in place to back it up. Based upon what I saw at HPE Discover last week, HPE is executing upon these requirements.
Every now and then a technology comes along that prompts enterprises to a complete do-over of their existing data center infrastructures. This type of dramatic change is already occurring within organizations of all sizes who are adopting and implementing SimpliVity.
In today’s enterprise data centers, when one thinks performance, one thinks flash. That’s great. But that thought process can lead organizations to think that “all-flash arrays” are the only option they have to get high levels of performance for their applications. That thinking is now so outdated. The latest server-based storage solution from Datrium illustrates how accelerating application performance just became insanely easy by simply clicking a button versus resorting to upgrading some hardware in their environment.
Few data center technologies currently generate more buzz than hyper-converged infrastructure solutions. By combining compute, data protection, flash, scale-out, and virtualization into a single self-contained unit, organizations get the best of what each of these individual technologies has to offer with the flexibility to implement each one in such a way that it matches their specific business needs. Yet organizations must exercise restraint in how many attributes they ascribe to hyper-converged infrastructure solutions as their adoption is a journey, not a destination.
As the whole technology world (or at least those intimately involved with the enterprise data center space) takes a breath before diving head first into VMworld next week, a few vendors are jumping the gun and making product announcements in advance of it. One of those is SimpliVity which announced its latest hyper-converged offering, OmniStack 3.0, this past Wednesday. In so doing, it continues to put a spotlight on why hyper-converged infrastructures and the companies delivering them are experiencing hyper-growth even in a time of relative market and technology uncertainty.
Hyper-converged infrastructures are quickly capturing the fancy of end-user organizations everywhere. They bundle hypervisor, server and storage in a single node and provide the flexibility to scale-out to form a single logical entity. In this configuration, they offer a very real opportunity for organizations to economically and practically collapse their existing infrastructure of servers and storage arrays into one that is much easier to implement, manage and upgrade over time.