Hyperconvergence: Your IT transformation ally


Data centers are evolving at the heart.

As demands for better protection, scaling out quickly, lower capital expenditure costs, and reduced total cost of ownership get louder, data center administrators have to rethink the way they architect their facilities.

They know that servers and storage, the twin hardware pillars that define a data center, need to be better managed as demand soar and space becomes a premium. They also need an infrastructure that is adaptable to dynamic shifts in demand and customer behavior that need to be provisioned faster.

The answer for many lies in a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). It is the reason why research firm Stratistics MRC expects the global HCI market to reach US$12 billion by 2022, with a CAGR of 48.4% from 2015.

Udo Wuertz, Chief Evangelist, Data Center Business, EMEIA, FujitsuFujitsu is at the center of this evolution. According to Udo Wuertz (photo right), Chief Evangelist, Data Center Business, EMEIA, Fujitsu, it is not about rocket science. He believes the trend toward HCI makes economic sense.

“Essentially, HCI is a server-ized system where the server provides compute power as well as capacity and network performance. In the end, it’s all in one box with a hypervisor on top,” Wuertz added.

Unlike other converged infrastructure plays, the biggest benefit of HCI is transparency: applications do not have to be aware that it is running on HCI hardware. It also offers cost benefits to firms who do not want to buy licenses for every application instance on every server.

“With a specific number of servers and storage system, HCI offers customers a better way to manage their license agreements,” Wuertz said.

HCI is also set to play a major role as digital transformation takes hold across all industries. To be successful in this journey, firms embracing digital transformation need to manage increasing volumes of data, perform faster analysis and respond quicker to rapid-evolving market dynamics.

“It's a global world. When you create an application and bring it into an app store, it could be used by customers from anywhere on the planet. The amount of data that you have to handle will get more unpredictable. So from an infrastructure perspective, it means that you need to have one that is able to respond to all the demands of customers,” Wuertz explained.

HCI also provides the glue for those firms looking to interface with the cloud and extend their storage capacities. “[A HCI] allows you to have an infrastructure in place that provides interfaces to connect your data center to external cloud services. It'll be then easier to bring workloads into a cloud environment or keep them on premise,” Wuertz said.

Fujitsu sees HCIs as a cornerstone for modern data center infrastructure design. Beyond than better workload optimization, it sees such an infrastructure breaking down the silo walls between different parts of IT, from networking to storage and server management, and make infrastructure management more effective.

“In the past, when something goes wrong, you call the networking department. The network guy might say it must be to storage issue, the storage guy the says it is a server issue and so on and so forth. Now with HCI, the administration person can check [the problem] easily. So, it’s easier for customers to adopt this kind of technology and move forward as an organization,” Wuertz said.

How do you evolve your data center infrastructure towards HCI? Wuertz advised firms to have a clear idea how they want their infrastructure to look like. He also recommended to not overlook the past knowledge and expertise built in-house and adopt an integrated approach to HCI.

“Our recommendation is to use the [hypervisor vendors] you have worked with before as you would have created a lot of knowledge in the past. It makes it easier for your organization to adopt additional technology going forward,” he added.

Wuertz also highlighted the importance of choosing a HCI vendor who has both the know-how, solutions and a strong track record.

“Fujitsu began early on a few years ago with our PRIMEFLEX solutions. It [represents] our promise to our customers that both the software and hardware will unify as one. We have also done certifications to ensure that these units are pre-tested and where everything is fully synchronized all levels,” he said. 

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