Conversations about cloud computing are often dominated by messages around agility, simplicity, speed, self-service and economics. Each of these is absolutely critical to businesses today and, in particular, to the digital transformation initiatives that are now essential to all IT investments.
But, if you’re an IT professional, you realize it’s not enough. You know that, when all is said and done, a key aspect of your core mission is to deliver the performance and reliability necessary for every workload and application in your organization, every time, across every environment and location.
To users and customers, it doesn’t really matter if applications are in the cloud, on-premises, legacy, cloud-native, or any combination of the above—as long as they can do what they need to do with consistency, bullet-proof availability and no delays or glitches.
As an IT professional, you are responsible for ensuring that the performance, reliability and consistency are there every time, for every application—while also delivering the agility, simplicity, speed, self-service and economics endemic to today’s cloud era.
Why HCI, Why Now
For many IT decision-makers the answer to these multi-faceted challenges is hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). With HCI, you can leverage tightly integrated hardware and software solutions that use a software-defined architecture to simplify and accelerate IT modernization. The HCI market is expected to grow at a staggering 32.9% through 2023, according to research from MarketsandMarkets.
But there are a several realities to consider when evaluating HCI solutions—particularly when it comes to the critical issues surrounding high performance, consistent performance, application reliability and multi-cloud capabilities. These include:
- Delivering performance for any application: Not every HCI solution is built to maximize performance for all applications, nor can they deliver consistently high performance to your most business-critical applications such as databases, OLTP systems, DevOps teams and others. Look for an HCI solution that prioritizes performance with advanced technologies such as NVMe storage, software-defined network fabrics, GPU acceleration and more.
- Integration across any cloud: Cloud mobility is an essential requirement in today’s environment, whereby the average enterprise is already using close to five clouds, including private, hybrid and multiple public clouds. Your on-premises hybrid cloud infrastructure must empower your use of clouds, not limit them. Make sure your HCI solution uses a common management platform that lets you move workloads between public and hybrid clouds so you can meet the performance requirements of any workload using whichever cloud that does the best job.
- Consistent performance anywhere. You must deliver consistent performance from the data center to the edge to the multi-cloud environment. One of the big advantages of HCI is that the right solution can be deployed simply, easily and cost-efficiently at the edge, providing compute power and storage where it is needed and eliminating risk of performance gaps caused by latency.
Choosing the Right Solution
With HCI solutions, high-performance and performance consistency are typically determined through a combination of the underlying hardware and software, as well as the architectural model. For example, an architectural model that tightly integrates hardware and software into a single solution will typically be capable of delivering performance advantages versus models that require you to integrate hardware and software from two vendors. The integrated model will also typically be easier to deploy, manage and scale.
Likewise, a solution that offers the latest advances in technology—for example, all-flash or all-NVMe storage—will obviously deliver better performance, lower latency and more IOPS than a solution with older storage technologies. In evaluating solutions, look for a vendor that offers a variety of pre-tested, validated designs that can meet the different performance requirements of your workloads and applications.
Cisco HyperFlex solutions deliver distinct performance advantages versus competitive solutions. With HyperFlex, customers get integrated hardware and software solutions utilizing best-of-breed technology such as Cisco UCS servers, Cisco Intersight cloud management software and the latest generation of Intel processors. The Cisco model provides tangible and measurable performance benefits.
HyperFlex “outpaced multiple anonymous competitive solutions with higher IOPS, lower latency, and better consistency,” according to Technical Validation research from Enterprise Strategy Group. “The consistent high performance offered by Cisco HyperFlex is extremely well suited to tier-1 production workloads.”
Performance and reliability have always been central to the success of IT departments, the foundation upon which everything else is built. Recently,
451 Research asked IT decision-makers which attributes of their on-premises infrastructure they are looking to improve to meet the current and future needs of their customers. Out of eight possible responses, the highest ranking was “speed/performance,” cited by 46% of respondents.
While the cloud changes many things, it doesn’t change the fundamental need for IT to deliver on performance and reliability for every application, every cloud and every location. Is your organization ready to ensure high performance and performance consistency, while also delivering cloud agility, simplicity, speed and economics? It’s time to look at what Cisco Hyperflex can do for you.