Written by Matt Oostveen, Chief Technology Officer for Dell EMC CPSD
Many medium enterprises find themselves facing a critical dilemma. They’ve harvested all the value they can from public cloud, but are unwilling or unable to move the mission-critical parts of the business there because of security, data sovereignty or a host of other reasons. As an IT manager, this puts you in a difficult position.
You’ve already fought to keep a seat at the table as the cloud has eroded some of your traditional (but often frustratingly mundane) roles, such as patching and configuration. And you may even be dealing with business units that signed up for their own public cloud services behind your back because they could better meet their needs.
By now it’s something of a cliché to say that the cloud reduces costs, while making you more scalable, agile and responsive to the mobile work environment. But something becomes a cliché because it contains a recognisable truth. The challenge you face is to deliver these benefits throughout the business in a seamless hybrid cloud environment.
The big dogs can rely on converged infrastructure, which combines storage, networking and computing, into one package to offer the benefits of the cloud without losing control. But it’s prohibitively expensive unless you are an enterprise at the upper end of the scale.
Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Is The Answer
Hyper Converges Infrastructure (HCI) enhances converged infrastructure by retaining that combined package of ICT function, but making it software-defined so that resources can be deployed as needed. This means the cost of setting up a system that serves your needs is much lower and is part of the reason why Gartner thinks HCI will experience rapid adoption over the next few years.
Take a purpose-built appliance like VxRail. You can start with just three nodes and get it running in as little as 20 minutes. This means you can send someone to buy you coffee and by the time they get back with your latte, it will be up and running.
With single-node scaling and storage capacity expansion, increasing your capability as you grow takes even less time. In fact, anyone on a coffee-seeking mission would only have about 5 minutes – perhaps enough time to hit the kitchen.
Smash the Silos
As infrastructure systems grow, they start to sprawl and each new piece of technology needs to function and cooperate with it, increasing complexity. You could try arguing that your business doesn’t have silos, just “cylinders of excellence”, but the fact remains when you can control storage, network and compute from the one console, you can do a better job of managing them because you can see how each piece fits in with the other domains.
It’s easier to provision resources and identify where any issues lie. Unlike the old rack and stack days, you don’t need to call in staff from each of the domains. Instead, one expert can manage the lot without battling their way through multiple consoles.
Be Your Organisation’s Hero
In the past, when the business came to your department and explained that say, they wanted to develop a mobile app that hits the sweet spot with a previously undeveloped marketplace, it was a struggle to keep pace with their time constraints. New infrastructure needed to go through a time-consuming process of installation, patching and configuring before anyone could take the first step.
With everyone used to the rapid and elastic world of the public cloud, this would win you few friends and create friction within the organisation. But with scaling and provisioning taking minutes, not hours, HCI is the way to deliver that speed without the loss of control and security. This is particularly important in industries such as finance or healthcare, where not maintaining proper control over data can be disastrous.
In a climate where administrators in the ICT sector struggle to define their relevance as operating methods change, HCI appliances like VxRail give them the opportunity to not only take control back, but improve their position by expanding their function.
For more details on how Dell EMC VxRail can help you be your organisation’s hero, visit here: https://www.emc.com/en-us/converged-infrastructure/vxrail/index.htm