Is it time to take a dip?
Time and time again businesses come to us with the same problems - the refresh cycles for their storage and compute don't align (so they are in constant upgrade mode for the various components of their infrastructure), their storage capacity fluctuates between not enough or way too much (there is never a happy balance), and as they grow the complexity of their infrastructure becomes a huge administrative burden (both in terms of operational resources and cost).
Our clients are telling us that "keeping up with storage demands and complexity is taking up too much of my time". They don't want to invest in huge and expensive storage platforms that are designed based on a best guess of what their business requirements will be in five years' time. They simply want the ability to scale and grow their storage in small increments, as they need it, and in an easy and manageable fashion.
With hyper-convergence this is now possible. By virtualising and integrating all compute and storage into one system, IT managers can say goodbye to misaligned refresh cycles, over-provisioned storage and ever-increasing complexity. Now they have the ability to scale and grow in a much more efficient and cost effective manner.
Testing the waters
Plunging straight in is all very well for an inviting swimming pool on a hot summer day but when it comes to your IT environment, it can pay to be a bit more cautious. When a new technology emerges, no matter how tempting, most businesses like to test the water first. Hyper-convergence has been around for a couple of years and we've worked on a number of projects for those early adopters dipping their toes in the water. It is now, with VMware and IBM entering the fray, becoming a mainstream solution, and one we believe more IT managers should give consideration to.
After fifteen years with little shift in storage aside from incremental improvements on existing technology, hyper-convergence is a departure from traditional storage environments, bringing storage and compute together into one simply managed resource. With the recent release of IBM Virtual SAN Ready Nodes, hyper-convergence becomes a reality for those wanting a solid platform from their preferred vendors.
Think about the best use cases and start there
Before you get completely carried away with the benefits, though, we recommend that you give consideration to the best use cases and think about which instances could work best for your environment. And because Virtual SAN and the hyper-convergence concept requires such a shift in traditional thinking, it is highly recommended to seek some guidance to identify which uses - such as Tier 2 and 3, virtual desktop and management clusters - to transition. Then you can turn your attention to the more welcome problems of how to invest the time and money you've just freed up!
To learn more about hypervisor-convergence with IBM and Virtual SAN, and how you can get the most out of this new technology, download our new whitepaper or contact one of our Virtual SAN experts.