The SimpliVity team returned from the Midsized Enterprise Summit (MES) East in Orlando last week. The Midsize Enterprise Summit brings together 220+ CIOs and senior-level IT professionals to meet with top technology vendors and seasoned Gartner analysts about the latest and greatest opportunities for their business.
After surveying midmarket attendees in our sessions, we found that attendees’ IT environments mirrored the overall market trends – 84% are more than 50% virtualized and close to 70% are greater than 75% virtualized.
As much as these participants have seen the benefits of virtualization, challenges still remain. Our survey found three top challenges for their virtualized infrastructure:
- Data protection – 33%
- Limited skilled staff – 22%
- Overextended capital expenditures – 17%
One participant even volunteered to share his specific problems with data protection. His environment has a quick time to recovery, but its performance falls during the restore process and strains his systems. Even after the restore process, his team still has to move data with Storage vMotion. All of this is taking up his IT staff’s time, which could be used for more strategic business initiatives.
Session participants were open to learning how solutions like SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure could enable them to address these challenges. In particular, attendees were impressed by the management simplicity through the vCenter console. Creating a clone, scheduling backup policies, and restoring a VM are all simple one-click operations, easily accessible from the right-click menu in vCenter’s homepage. One attendee commented that this would enable his organization to hire staff with a VM skill-set verses hiring people with tribal knowledge of SAN switches, disk-based storage, SSD storage, data protection, etc.
One SimpliVity customer specifically demonstrated the strength of our data protection capabilities at the event. After his firm was hit with a CryptoLocker attack, he was able to find the file from backup and restore in a manner of minutes. This was an order of magnitude faster than his prior backup software.
During the demo, Jesse St. Laurent, VP Product Strategy at SimpliVity, showcased how a 1 TB VM was restored instantaneously, and with no impact to production VMs running on the system. SimpliVity’s unique architecture, which globally deduplicates, compresses, and optimizes all data at inception across all tiers of storage, makes this possible.
MES attendees certainly liked what they saw, and so did the MES judges. We were honored to receive the “Best in Innovation” award at the show. More importantly, we were honored to have SimpliVity customers like St. John’s Riverside and Worth and Company share their experiences deploying our product.
Although attendees saw the benefits that SimpliVity could bring their environment, we did field questions on how to transition from a legacy stack to a truly hyperconverged infrastructure environment that integrates compute, storage (standard and SSD), server, backup appliances, WAN optimization, cloud gateways, and data protection software into a single integrated solution. The good news is that moving to hyperconvergence with SimpliVity does not require a “rip and replace” strategy. As a for example, although SimpliVity’s solution does provide native data protection, some customers opt to continue to use their incumbent backup software to archive data to tape before moving completely to SimpliVity for their data protection needs.
Another element of making the transition to hyperconverged infrastructure relates to organizational challenges. Mike Cisek from Gartner touched on this issue in his session, “The Future of Infrastructure: From Complexity to Productivity.” In this session, he discussed how hyperconverged infrastructure can help midmarket enterprises reduce the complexity of managing the virtual infrastructure to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of service delivery. However, he said that reactive infrastructure planning and holding on to legacy organizational models (separate specialists for VM, SAN and storage, and data protection) could hold companies and their employees back. He challenged attendees to get started by familiarizing themselves with converged systems that align to midmarket requirements and to integrate a solution that meets organizational requirements into their near-term IT roadmaps.
It will be great to return to the next MES event and see how midmarket executives are progressing in their adoption of hyperconverged infrastructure. SimpliVity is proud to play a leading role in enabling midmarket enterprises to improve their data protection, reduce costs, and simplify management with our hyperconverged infrastructure products, including the OmniCube family and the OmniStack Integrated Solution with Cisco UCS.
Interested in data protection solutions for the midmarket? Visit the Data Protection Page.