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FCW : July 30, 2013
July 30, 2013 FCW.COM 31 DRAGUTIN CVIJANOVIC tactical organizations must ship, hand-carry and con gure systems in challenging conditions. For those IT organiza- tions, heavy infrastructure can doom an initiative in its earliest days. 8. Politics. Even in the closest-knit data centers, separate tiers of infrastructure lead to separate areas of ownership, opinion and potential con ict. Too often in virtualization initiatives, in ghting between SAN teams, network teams and server teams gives way to lost productivity, longer time frames or the death of the entire project. 9. Speculation. Estimating the ROI of a traditional virtu- alization project takes guesswork: How much RAM will Government's virtualization software isn't failing; it's just failing to see the light of day. be needed per virtual machine? How much storage? How many input/output operations per second? How many vir- tual machines will be running in 12 to 18 months? Plug all those guesses into a vendor's spreadsheet, and it will tell you what to buy. But chances are, your speculation isn't perfect, which means you'll overbuy, underbuy or nd the whole project preemptively canceled when risk outweighs your (incorrectly estimated) return. 10. Performance. The question seems simple: Will a vir- tualization solution run fast enough to satisfy end-user expectations? However, with a traditional virtualization infrastructure, optimizing the separate server, storage and network components requires a complex balancing act. Performance-affecting decisions fall squarely on the shoul- ders of the agency, which also bears the consequences of any miscalculation. Batter up If you recognize that these pitfalls are threatening your virtualization initiative from conception, how do you avoid them? More and more agencies are turning to a new type of virtualization architecture: hyper-converged infrastructure. Hyper convergence puts server and storage tiers in a single, small component, thereby eliminating the need for separate servers, SANs and storage-network fabric. That means signi cantly less cost, complexity, power, cooling, space, weight and politics. It also means faster performance because servers and storage share the same system board. Those hyper-converged components form large clusters on demand and appear to the virtualization software as multiple virtual machine hosts and a shared SAN. They support the highest-end virtualization features yet enable customers to start small and then scale up based on facts (and increments of success), not guesses. Perhaps most important, a process that used to take weeks --- moving a virtualization pilot from cardboard boxes to up-and-running virtual desktops --- can now be done in minutes. That means federal agencies can take a much more effec- tive swing at the critical virtualization-centric initiatives our modern government demands. ■ Dave Gwyn is director of federal sales at Nutanix.
July 15, 2013
August 15, 2013