Does your messy garage remind you of your ROBO’s IT infrastructure? Is it like the dust under the couch? Do you find yourself wishing you could send it out with the recycling?
Usually ROBOs (remote offices, branch offices) have neither the staff nor expertise on-site for supporting complex IT infrastructure and mission-critical, business applications. According to a recent ESG survey, only one in five ROBOs has on-site staff; that same study revealed over half (53%) operate at least 100 ROBO locations world-wide.
Given the goals for which ROBOs are established – driving customer engagement and growing the business – supporting the business productivity of ‘front-line’ employees at these distributed locations must be on par with those working in corporate headquarters or centralized sites. Specifically, the infrastructure and application support must deliver high levels of performance and reliability.
ROBOs may be out of sight to corporate IT, but in order to be successful they cannot be out of mind.
Adequately supporting ROBOs (and don’t forget we are talking about dozens of sites or more!) is compounded by an almost ‘perfect storm’ of changing trends in business applications – and their uses. Multi-component, microservice architectures with open source and cloud-based constituents make efficient application support more complex. The sheer number and diversity of available applications, whose end user expectations are now shaped by consumer-oriented and easily downloadable mobile apps, challenges even well-staffed, centralized IT organizations.
When it comes to controlling the real cost of better managing and supporting remote sites, the single most important decision a business can make is the type of infrastructure in which they invest.
Centralized management challenges application performance due to increasing volumes of application data and the WAN’s speed, latency, and reliability. This can result in exactly what you are trying to avoid: poor performance and reliability for end users at the ROBO.
Distributed management presents its own set of problems, not the least of which is handling the accelerating upgrade and release cycles of more applications, which if delayed or ignored increases business risk. Distributed management also threatens the consistent enforcement of corporate policies and adequate data protection.
SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure provides global unified management at the VM level. Federated nodes in multiple locations provide the visibility and capability to efficiently manage and support ROBO infrastructure. SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure is designed, with the VM in mind and it uses VMs as the unit of data management, eliminating the need to manage at the discrete component level, such as LUNs or shares on storage. This VM-centric approach leverages in-place management tools like VMware vCenter, VMware vRealize Automation, Cisco UCS Director, and others, enabling three-click operations at the VM level, including provisioning, backup, restore, and data migration.
Corporate policies are established and enforced at the VM level. Updating applications – and consistency across multiple locations – is easier and more transparent. On top of it all, an administrator can manage systems globally from a single pane of glass. The ability to rapidly provision new infrastructure and deploy new workloads introduces operational efficiency and responsiveness.
If you’re interested in hearing more about the advantages of hyperconverged infrastructure for ROBOs, read our recent whitepaper.