Any organization that delivers critical applications to a collection of branch offices knows that it is a difficult task, and that there is a balancing act between centralization and distribution. Centralizing services keeps the cost of delivery low and provides comfort to the central office, but branch office staff are seldom happy with centralization, as local services are more likely to be responsive and available to branch staff.
Distributed businesses need effective ways to deliver services into branch offices while containing cost and risk. SimpliVity’s hyperconverged platform has a range of features that suit distributed organizations, particularly those with multiple remote offices. There are four C’s to consider for your branch offices: Centralization, Connectivity, Compute, and Cost.
Centralization. A key way to support remote and branch offices is to leverage central resources. One of the key central resources is the technical experts in the main offices. Remote and branch offices will not have local IT staff, so the central staff are the specialists. SimpliVity provides a single console to manage a collection of remote offices. The console is integrated into the standard hypervisor management console and uses policy to manage VMs. Policy-based management means managing exceptions, rather than checking that everything is correct at every branch.
Connectivity. One of the key reasons to put infrastructure at branch offices is to reduce the load on the WAN link as well as reliance on that link. The risk that comes with this is that valuable business data ends up at the branch. This data needs to be protected and backed up, without IT staff at the branch. SimpliVity provides a flexible, policy-based backup mechanism for all branch office VMs. VMs can be backed up locally and replicated between SimpliVity data centers. The valuable data in the branch can be replicated to the head office, or to another branch, or both. SimpliVity’s inline global deduplication and compression minimize the bandwidth required for this replication.
Compute. One of the unusual features of SimpliVity’s hyperconverged solution is support for two-node clusters, the smallest clusters that are easy to support. In two-node clusters, one node can be taken out of operation for maintenance while the other is running the branch VM workload; other hyperconverged solutions require a minimum of three nodes at each site, increasing the cost and complexity for each remote office. While some competing solutions with two-node clusters require 10GB Ethernet switch switches, a great feature of the SimpliVity two-node cluster is the ability to use crossover cables. A two-node minimal SimpliVity cluster for a remote office can be half the cost of an equivalent three-node alternative. ROBO sites can have even have a single SimpliVity node while maintaining data protection.
Cost. All of these features lead to a lower total cost. Simplified central management allows IT staff to spend less time managing branches and more on delivering better value to the business. Efficient replication of data means less WAN bandwidth is needed, saving money every month. A two-node cluster option reduces the capital cost at every branch, allowing local infrastructure to be rolled out to smaller branches.
SimpliVity’s hyperconverged platform excels at remote and branch office deployment. Data efficiency is one key to managing multiple branches. The other key is simple global management. Both of these lead to lowered effort and cost to support remote offices. Keep the four Cs in mind: Centralization, Connectivity, Compute, and Cost.