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FCW : September 15, 2015
Lowering costs, simplifying IT, better security, improved service and efficiency—federal agencies have been dealing with challenges like these for more than a decade. During that time, they’ve done their best to meet those challenges. First, they began virtualizing parts of the datacenter—servers, storage and networking. Virtualization was a valuable step. It introduced much-needed automation into the datacenter, simplified management, and served as an on- ramp for cloud computing. It made the infrastructure more agile and scalable, and automated security and policy management. However, virtualization isn’t enough these days. The federal government con- tinues to ask more of its IT resources. The President’s 2016 budget proposal, for example, focuses on improving service delivery and performance. Other mandates require security improve- ments, increased shared services and collaboration, greater use of the cloud, and even more cost-cutting. All these requirements mean existing infrastructure needs an overhaul. According to a recent study conducted by Accenture and the Government Business Council, most government leaders believe the current speed of their IT services won’t let them achieve their agencies’ missions. About half said their infrastructure doesn’t provide them with the IT services they need to do their jobs. Other goals for agency IT leaders include implementing data analytics, reducing power and cooling, consolidating applications and data, accelerating IT deployment and reducing risk. Agencies can solve many of these issues by finding a way to break down traditional datacenter silos. Many also have taken steps by implementing a converged infrastructure, where all the parts—servers, storage, networking—are preconfigured and ready to use. There are many benefits to convergence, including lower costs, simplified manage- ment and greater scalability. Since the systems come preconfigured, though, they can’t be customized. Others are moving toward the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC)—the software version of conver- gence, where compute, storage, networking and virtualization software are integrated and completely managed via software. The next step is moving toward a hyperconverged infrastructure, which combines the best of convergence and the SDDC by combining a variety of resources into a single, scalable pool, complete with built-in management tools. Depending on the vendor, these resources might include storage, compute, data protection, networking, a hypervisor, and grid software intelligent enough to auto-discover and add additional nodes to a cluster as needed. With a hyperconverged infrastructure, agencies can scale whatever resource is needed on demand. It’s also highly automated, so it’s simple to provision and manage, even across datacenters. WHEN A HYPERCONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE MAKES SENSE Whether your agency is looking for efficiency, cost savings or simplicity, a hyperconverged infrastructure can deliver. There are some cases where hyperconvergence truly shines, including: n Efficient VDI deployment: Hyper- convergence reduces costs and eliminates the inflexible resource provisioning and fragmented infrastructure management that can make VDI deployment complex. n Flexibility: Run multiple enterprise applications on a single platform with predictable and fast performance in much less space, without performance bottlenecks. n Improved test and development environment: With direct access to high- performance environments and datasets, IT and software developers can set up complete test environments in minutes and cut QA cycles by as much as half. n Effective remote and branch office management: By consolidating branch office servers and storage onto a hyperconverged platform, agencies can more easily manage all sites. n Backup and management: Better backup and disaster recovery through local, remote and cloud-based backups, synchronous and asynchronous replication- based disaster recovery and centralized management. n An easy path to the cloud: Agencies can deploy secure private clouds quickly and scale on demand. CONVERGENCE VS. HYPERCONVERGENCE: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? If you’re confused about the difference between converged and hyperconverged infrastructure, you’re not alone. While the terms can be confusing, there’s a simple way to understand the difference by com- paring what each brings to the datacenter. The Time is Right to Move to a Hyperconverged Infrastructure GameChanger GAME CHANGING TECHNOLOGY TO MEET AGENCY MISSIONS SPONSORED REPORT HYPERCONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE 82 PERCENT OF INSTITUTIONS ARE LIKELY TO ADOPT HYPER-CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE. —451 RESEARCH 0815_GameChanger_Nutanix_FCW_final3.indd 1 8/21/15 3:10 PM
August 30, 2015
September 30, 2015