SimpliVity has been on the road around the world (literally … we’re partially through our “Get Hyperconverged” 23-country/50-city road show). One of the things that we consistently hear is, “I’m interested in hyperconvergence, but where do I start?”
Well, the nice thing about hyperconvergence is that it can address a variety of use cases in any size company.
SimpliVity has examples and references across all 10. Remote/branch office implementations is one that spans the largest of multi-site organizations to smaller companies, such as a manufacturing company with its primary data center and the handful of plants it operates. Data Migration is a use case we see very often due to infrastructure refresh initiatives or the result of mergers and acquisitions. Some of the most popular scenarios are data center consolidation (whether consolidating multiple data centers or consolidating infrastructure within a single data center), and technology refresh. Another popular use case is data protection—not only because backup/recovery is a pain point that seems to never go away, but also because the cost effectiveness of hyperconverged infrastructure often makes disaster recovery more feasible than with traditional legacy infrastructure. We even have some customers running SimpliVity as a private cloud or service providers deploying hyperconverged infrastructure as the basis of their public cloud offering.
So, where do you start? Do we really expect you to sweep the floor of your data center and adopt hyperconverged infrastructure holistically? Well, SimpliVity definitely has many examples of customers who have done just that. However, that’s not a realistic model for everyone. Not all IT organizations can justify ripping out and replacing all in-place IT infrastructure on day one.
Path To Hyperconvergence
SimpliVity uses a Path To Hyperconvergence model to chart a course for adoption of hyperconverged infrastructure. The model identifies use cases or initiatives that address business challenges, and helps to advance IT organizations to leveraging hyperconverged infrastructure for 100% of their IT workloads.
The model has three distinct phases:
Phase 1 focuses on finding entry points for hyperconvergence use. Customers typically identify one or two use cases or business problems that they need to address—in many situations, this may be for non-production workloads, IT-owned applications, or data at the edge. Easing into hyperconverged infrastructure provides an opportunity to prove out the value of the platform. And the focus of that value tends to be the immediate cost efficiency of converging IT services on a single platform.
Phase 2 expands on furthering efficiency benefits and operational improvements with production workloads. IT can now focus on running business-critical, multi-tier applications in production. Governance is an important component to “win over” business application owners. Application delivery is tied to business-linked service level agreements (SLAs), which means that performance and QoS are critical to ensure. You cannot risk losing the resiliency, performance, and protection you’ve achieved in your enterprise environment.
Phase 3 culminates with a complete transformation of IT. This stage is characterized by enabling the automation and agility of an IT-as-a-Service model. The goal of hosting all virtualized x86 workloads on hyperconverged infrastructure, and delivering the highest business value and agility at the lowest possible cost are realized.
Path To Hyperconvergence – Phase 1
More often, our customers focus on a specific use case or pain point, or time a transition with a technology refresh cycle. SimpliVity sees a strong focus on uses cases like ROBO or data protection where customers are grappling with some real issues today. If we look at ROBO, for example, it comes down to management. Without expert resources available across the entire stack at every remote site, ROBOs are challenging to manage.
This is exactly the problem Coughlan Companies looked to SimpliVity to solve. Coughlan Companies is a mining and paper publishing business based in Minnesota. They have four remote sites that were difficult to manage. While they initially engaged with SimpliVity as a result of a capacity/purchase or refresh of infrastructure, they also use SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure for multi-site management. SimpliVity is deployed at four sites, including their headquarters in Minnesota. Coughlan Companies started managing its infrastructure from a single pane of glass and started to back up across sites, seeing an up to 100:1 data efficiency.
Path To Hyperconvergence – Phase 2
Down the road, Coughlan Companies had an ERP refresh project approaching where they would be moving to Microsoft Dynamics AX. For a manufacturing business, the ERP is literally the crown jewels of the company. If SimpliVity had initially approached Coughlan Companies and said, “Look at our new hyperconverged solution. It’s great, put your ERP on it,” they probably would have told us “no way.” However, since they had already proven out the value internally for their remote sites (they were already getting incredible results), they gave SimpliVity a shot.
Now, flashing forward, Coughlan Companies’ ERP is running on three SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure building blocks, offering a 30% performance improvement over the legacy stack infrastructure they were previously using. We’d say they’re now on Phase 2 of the Path to Hyperconvergence.
Path To Hyperconvergence – Phase 3
Another customer, the City of Arvada, Colorado, is in Phase 3 as they run 100% of their IT and production workloads on SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure. But, it didn’t happen overnight. Just like Coughlan Companies, the City of Arvada started with some specific use cases in the back office and with data protection. They initially moved a few workloads to SimpliVity. Then moved a few more. Then Arvada moved their databases over. And, finally, they moved their 911 emergency dispatch application over to SimpliVity. You can’t get more mission-critical than that!
Which phase are you in? Where would you like to get started?