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FCW : February 2016
Q&A: HYPERCONVERGENCE Hyperconvergence is the next step in the evolution of datacenter technology. It packages infrastruc- ture elements—storage, compute and network—into an appliance. As Chris Howard, Nutanix vice president of federal sales, and Jeff Hogarth, Dell’s federal sales director, explain, the result is simplified administration, reduced ROI and faster response to agency demands. Q What does a converged system do that traditional datacenter infrastructure can’t—and how does the hyperconverged approach build on that? AHogarth: Traditional datacenters have siloed management domains for infrastructure, which presents complexity in configuration management. Converged systems collapse infrastructure management and deployment technology into a more automated platform. Hyperconvergence radically accelerates the integration and consolidation of data center infrastructure by putting it into easy-to-implement, easy-to- manage 2U appliances. This allows for a more agile and flexible response to the elastic requirements of a software defined datacenter and the move to cloud computing. Hyperconvergence adds more automation for deployment, reporting and configuration management. A Howard: Hyperconvergence is much more practical because it lets you start small and grow as you need, versus traditional data center infrastructure models, which require significant up front purchases that are based on a prediction of what will be needed two or three years into the future. If you start with one hyperconverged appliance and you need more resources, simply add another appliance. There’s no limit, it scales infinitely. It’s easy to start with one appliance and scale incrementally. The complexity of managing a converged infrastructure is the same as managing traditional legacy infrastructure. You’re managing servers, SAN fabric, and SANs. With hyperconvergence you’re just managing the appliance. It makes all of the complexity of legacy infrastructure invisible – it just works. QHow does hyperconvergence change the complexion of datacenter staffing and administration duties? A Hogarth: Hyperconvergence helps you move beyond siloed infrastructures with simplified, centralized management of all internal chassis components. Users can manage network, storage and server infrastructures from a single pane of glass. With fewer consoles to use and tight integration with the chassis, your team can save significant time on systems management. A Howard: It’s meant to be a plug-and-play appliance. Today, a typical datacenter requires a separate server administrator, a SAN fabric administrator, and the SAN administrator. With hyperconvergence, all of that siloed expertise goes away. Because this approach reduces complexity, it comes down to the virtualization admin who’s managing an appliance. Nutanix reduces all the complexity below the application level. Even getting the appliance installed requires a very minimal personal touch. You plug it in. It takes half an hour to install. You load your virtualization layer or we do it for you. And you’re off serving VMs to your users. QWould you advise getting hyperconvergence into an agency undergoing consolidation? AHoward: Business as usual won’t get us where we need to go, and datacenter consolidation is not business-as-usual. Hyperconverged infrastructure helps reduce the amount of infrastructure required, which in turn drives down costs and consumption of power, space and cooling. It also enables management of disparate datacenters— whether it’s one or 100—from a single interface. And this means more than just seeing it, you can actually manage the infrastructure - power off systems, create virtual machines, replicate from site to site. One of Nutanix’s defense customers previously reduced 60 racks of servers to 10 with their investment Simple and Powerful: The Hyperconverged Datacenter Jeff Hogarth Federal Sales Director Dell AN INTERVIEW WITH Chris Howard Vice President Federal Sales, Nutanix Sponsored Content Untitled-7 2 Untitled-7 2 1/28/16 3:36 PM 1/28/16 3:36 PM
March 15, 2016