Enterprises and mid-market organisations alike are starting to realise the transformational benefits of Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI), where server, storage and networking resources are provided as a combined, modular block and managed by a single interface.
Analysts are predicting that adoption will continue to rise and a recent report by the Evaluator Group highlighted that acceptance and implementation of HCI by enterprise sized firms has increased, with 79% of large enterprises expanding their use of hyperconverged infrastructure and using it for mission-critical workloads.
Traditional data centres are set up with all their resource layers set up separately and often managed individually. Conversely, HCI brings together different resources; server, storage, and networking in a way that is simple to manage, allocate and consume.
So how else do businesses benefit from hyperconvergence? Many HCI users report improved IT team productivity, a more agile business operation and greater ability to support a hybrid cloud environment, with cloud applications.
Businesses also report lower capex, as SAN-based storage solutions are replaced by industry standard servers and overprovisioning is a thing of the past. Resources can be added as and when they are needed to scale out.
Opex is also reduced, as less resources lead to less floor space, power and cooling consumption. The simplified and automated nature of HCI administration means that management overheads are lower, increasing staff productivity and allowing IT teams to do more with the same number of staff.
Risks are lowered as downtime is reduced during upgrades and system refreshes, which happen automatically. The supply chain is smaller and that inherently reduces the operational risks associated with vendor management.
Modern HCI solutions need to be able to provide predictable and guaranteed service levels for multiple primary workloads all competing for bandwidth. They must integrate with multiple public clouds, creating a seamless, hybrid multi-cloud with a common data fabric for private and public clouds. Whilst the essence of HCI is that all components are provided together, in reality, most organisations do not scale equally, with demands for compute, storage and networking increasing equally. So, modern HCI solutions should be able to scale the individual elements of the solutions independently in order to truly maximise the resousces. A storage intensive environment may not necessarily need additional compute power.
NetApp understands the demands of a modern HCI environment and entered the market quite recently with HCI solutions that have been born in the cloud, for the cloud. NetApp HCI offers workload protection, for multiple workloads, allowing organisations to consolidate many different applications on it, safe in the knowledge that those workloads are replicated, protected and available.
NetApp HCI allows organisations to add compute or storage nodes independently, which eliminates overprovisioning and ensures the HCI environment is flexible enough to meet any business’s needs.
NetApp Data Fabric provides consistent data services across on-premises infrastructure, public and private clouds allowing it to meet the needs of today’s businesses, as according to Flexera’s State of the Cloud Report for 2019, 84% of businesses have a multi-cloud strategy and 58% of businesses have a hybrid cloud strategy.
In terms of management, NetApp HCI offers a automated deployment engine which has reduced the number of deployment steps from 400 manual steps to just 30 highly automated steps. Similar automation features in the management console mean it benefits from highly automated integration into higher-level management, orchestration, backup, and DR tools
In short, for customers looking at HCI solutions with a view to transforming their business should absolutely consider NetApp. It has been designed to be future proofed and meets the brief of what a modern HCI solution should offer.