IT Focus Area: infrastructure operations
December 1, 2017
Modernization Through Convergence: Simplifying Complexity and Improving Performance for Data-driven Businesses
IT modernization. Digital transformation. Cloud. As organizations reimagine and reinvent how IT supports business acceleration and growth, new technologies that drive greater agility, efficiency and cost-savings are changing how solutions are deployed and managed— IT is no longer simply supporting the business, it is the business. At the same time, lowering total cost of ownership via reductions in CAPEX and OPEX is vital to support strategic business investments. This requires new ways of looking at old challenges and implementing solutions that deliver the performance needed for today’s dynamic data-driven business.
Storage modernization is critical to supporting transformation in today’s disruptive business landscape because it allows organizations to move more quickly by speeding time to market and helping to close gaps that hinder innovation. But traditional hardware-based storage silos create challenges that can hinder scalability, interoperability and efficient management while creating costly complexity. So what does that mean for organizations pursuing modernization and transformation strategies? Changes and choices.
Storage is undergoing a fundamental transformation as workloads and applications demand higher performance, scalability, and resiliency. Economics are also changing, with cloud-based, software-defined, flash-based and converged infrastructure creating new opportunities to simplify and manage storage. Organizations no longer need to settle for expensive-to-maintain proprietary legacy systems that require forklift upgrades to keep pace with business, and significant time and resources to rebalance workloads for performance optimization. The result? More time to focus on strategic IT initiatives that drive business forward while also creating positive bottom line impact.
To Transform and Modernize, First Converge
At a time when competitive pressures and market dynamics require organizations to be more agile than ever, data center complexity can dramatically hinder transformation and the benefits of modernization. Integrating disparate solutions to support business applications in the data center can delay the very benefits that agile development and new platforms are designed to deliver.
Convergence solves the complexity challenge by enabling an unprecedented level of integration with pre-tested, pre-configured systems that can be quickly deployed and ready to use. This simplifies implementation and management while accelerating time to use.
But not all convergence is the same. Both converged and hyperconverged systems enable elastic workloads and resource pooling, so which is right for your business?
Converged systems are modular and consist of networking, compute and memory with the flexibility to add storage as needed. Convergence lets you choose your hypervisor and create a best of breed enterprise solution, which provides a high level of agility to meet the needs of workloads and applications that require increased storage before needing additional compute and memory. The high performance, reliability, and scalability of converged infrastructure make it ideal for Tier-1 workloads. Convergence use cases include highly available mission-critical applications such as databases, high I/O storage, as well as next generation infrastructure requiring massive scalability. Support at scale globally; leverage existing assets
Hyperconverged systems take a slightly different approach with software-defined capabilities and interfaces in addition to the pre-integrated hardware components. Proprietary storage, software interfaces, and hypervisor are integrated, as opposed to traditional physical cabling, configuration and connections. The lack of modularity requires that additional hyperconverged systems are purchased when storage needs increase, even if that outpaces memory and compute requirements. Because hyperconvergence consolidates multiple functions into one platform, it tends to make sense for Tier-2 workloads. Hyperconvergence use cases include running a remote office’s local applications on a single platform, providing a path to managed private cloud, enabling VDI infrastructure deployments, and end of life for converged solutions.
“Our customers are increasingly asking us for clarity on the changing landscape of the converged/hyper-converged market, and which solution financially aligns best with their organizations,” explains Darren Gourley, Vice President Infrastructure Solutions for Sirius. “ To keep pace with demanding solutions that can meet the evolving needs of your business, converged solutions provide maximum scalability and performance. Typically, these are mission critical workloads that have significant impact to the business such as SAP, Oracle, or Microsoft applications.”
From a financial perspective, a converged solution provides a single system that is fully supported by a single point of contact, which simplifies operations and, therefore, lowers costs. Hyperconverged solutions are well-suited for customers with limited technical abilities because they provide pre-packaged components to simplify initial setup.
By deploying the right converged infrastructure solution based upon use case, you make it simple to scale the data center environment to meet business needs while also reducing deployment time and increasing cost efficiency.
Convergence Efficiently Supports Data Growth
When it comes to today’s workloads there’s an inconvenient reality - storage grows faster than compute for some applications. For these applications, organizations need a solution that can satisfy storage requirements without demanding new investment in unneeded networking, compute, and memory.
The ability to add flash storage to converged systems gives organizations the scalability needed to grow capacity in the data center without over-investing in hyperconverged systems. By combining best of breed networking, compute, memory and your existing hypervisor with industry leading flash storage, organizations get simplified, validated infrastructure with performance and flexibility to support modernization initiatives.
Pure Storage innovation Aligns with Your Business
Pure Storage is a high performance storage solution appropriate for high performing applications. As part of Cisco’s FlashStack converged infrastructure solution, Pure Storage brings the power and efficiency of all-flash storage to the entire Cisco UCS powered data center. Because FlashStack combines industry-leading components from Cisco and Pure Storage, it delivers a powerful and resilient converged solution that dramatically shortens time to value for mission critical workloads. Pure Storage can even give organizations the agility and cost advantages of cloud without losing control of your data.
A leader in Gartner’s Solid-State Array (SSA) Magic Quadrant four years in a row, Pure Storage was recently promoted to the top of the all-flash array pack for its “ability to execute" and "completeness of vision.” Integrated into the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS®), a primary building block in the world’s advanced data centers, Pure Storage helps ensure that organizations can take advantage of performance, density, and consolidation innovations driving storage architectures, including FlashArray//X for NVMe and FlashBlade™ for modern data analytics.
Pure Storage also solves the financial demands that make legacy storage costly and misaligned with today’s modernization efforts. In comparisons, the all-flash FlashStack converged solution can be similar in price to a leading hyperconverged alternative, however, when the greater data reduction capabilities of the Pure FlashArray in the FlashStack solution were accounted for, the Pure solution was as much as 40% less expensive. Unlike proprietary systems from a single vendor, leveraging best of breed solutions from industry leading alliances delivers superior capabilities with improved results.
Pure Storage’s Evergreen™ Storage Subscriptions also let you leverage rapid software, hardware, and flash innovation without waiting for the multiple year refresh cycles and migrations required with legacy storage. The ability to scale up or down depending on the application and without disruption gives you greater financial control and value from your storage investment. With the Evergreen advantage, you deploy once, upgrade as needed with no data migration or planned downtime, and benefit from rapid software and flash innovation all with an inclusive subscription model. That means your storage is always modern, and always aligned with your business.
Storage Modernization Drives Business Forward
Transformation and modernization require thinking differently about IT, and that includes storage. The increased agility and efficiency organizations need to effectively compete can only be achieved with storage solutions that are aligned with business needs. There are clear use cases for converged and hyperconverged solutions, and identifying the right fit is key to accelerating business growth while reducing TCO.
An experienced partner can help identify the right converged solution for your business, determine the areas of greatest financial impact, and align modernization efforts with the storage that can drive your business forward.