12 Jul 2018

Hyperconverged Infrastructure: the next frontier for progressive digital businesses

Business computing has come a long way, yet organisations still struggle to manage and make sense of ever-increasing amounts of data, support growing numbers of devices and users, all whilst trying to meet tightening security obligations; it seems that IT managers and systems administrators are still doing a lot of running just to stand still.

To make things even more complicated, and whether we like it or not, complex legacy systems still play an important role in many businesses, meaning that new, more agile and efficient digital technologies, such virtualisation and the cloud, need to work effectively with them.

Take this sobering statistic: some 80 percent of organisations’ IT budgets are spent just keeping the ‘lights running’ in the data-centre, but that their overall budgets have remained constrained despite their data volumes go through the roof  – and that’s in 2018!

Some companies have full teams of people who just create RAID groups and monitor storage. That’s all they do, everyday, being completely reactive.

Things shouldn’t be this way – not in 2018. Clearly companies need to manage things better and that starts with two steps:

  1. Virtualise your IT environment and reduce the amount of physical gear you’re managing
  2. Assess the time, complexity and risk involved in running virtual or legacy apps on traditional architecture.

If that sounds a little easier said than done, you’re not alone in thinking that.

Helping customers is an emerging group of digital solutions for so-called Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI), which allows companies to effectively consolidate technology in their data centre by collapsing multiple devices into one and then viewing everything through a single pane of glass.

Global technology researchers IDC describe effective HCI as:

web-scale architectures and shared attributes of a distributed-everything topology, scale-out design, and analytics but don’t require businesses to develop their own new technology stack.

Nor do they need dedicated areas, or siloed skill sets looking after one little piece of technology. Instead, HCI greatly reduces the time, costs and risk of running workloads, freeing up IT professionals to work on more proactive and useful tasks.

Who is Hyperconverged Infrastructure for?

As with most digital technologies being designed for business, Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) is not a one-size fits all technology. In fact, it may not even be suitable for some companies at all.

It’s important therefore to have close, consultative relationship with your technology provider to figure out the best approach for your organisation. Both parties need to have a clear idea of the business and customer drivers, and to map those carefully with what different HCI configurations are capable of delivering.

At Brennan IT, we’re already seeing successful HCI adoptions across industries like Financial Services and Retail, which are seeing some of the sharpest increases in volume of data and customer transactions.

One of the world’s biggest Financial Services companies will save itself $100 million over the next five year after completing an HCI deployment that halved its global data centres from six to three. One of the data centres had a full 34 racks of tin, which the firm was able to cut down to three, again thanks to HCI.

Collecting, storing, managing and securing large volumes of data in different IT environments, be they on-premise and legacy, virtualised or in the cloud, has emerged as a key challenge, not only for big organisations, but any company trying to do business today.

It’s not just about running operations

Compliance is now a bigger issue for all companies right across the board and this situation exposes key limitations of traditional business systems: their inherent inflexibility means that they typically dictate to users when and how things like data backups occur.

This is no longer good enough, because organisations need much greater control over today’s more dynamic digital environments, and HCI can hand power back to the user; allowing them to manage things like data protection, outages, back-up and DR, as well as data sovereignty (where data is held).

Just as importantly, HCI gives organisations more control, visibility and certainty when it comes to system performance, allowing them to optimise data resources using tools such as compression and de-duplication.

Want to find out more?

Brennan IT has been helping Australian organisations solve their most vexing technology challenges for over 20 years. We understand that different organisations have different needs for their applications.

With Managed Hybrid IT, we can help you determine which type of technology is right for your workloads and scope a Hybrid IT solution that fits your specific needs: discover more about our Managed Hybrid IT.

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