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Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.

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HCI could be the way to implement your private cloud

A key decision that many IT teams face is what infrastructure to choose to facilitate modernization and private cloud initiatives.

Different stakeholders have specific requirements that must be addressed. CIOs are interested in driving digital transformation and adopting new consumption models to control cost. Application teams want a solution that helps them meet new business demands, ensures performance, and protects availability. Storage teams must respond more rapidly to growing data demands, even while budgets and staff are flat or shrinking. 

Enterprise IT teams are increasingly turning to hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) as a means to modernize legacy infrastructure, address the needs of diverse stakeholders, and enable private cloud. HCI is a simple, cost-effective way to build private cloud. 

Private clouds offer the same type of self-service capability as hybrid and public clouds, but the infrastructure – servers, storage, networking, etc. – is housed on-premises rather than in someone else’s data center. When you need to ramp up, HCI offers ease of scaling for private clouds. Plug in another node, tell it to join the existing cluster, and off you go.

HCI offers private cloud benefits that simply aren’t available in the other types of clouds. Two of the biggest benefits are control and cost.

Control

The first is control. Since you own the stack, your mission-critical data isn’t sitting offsite, managed by a third party you may not know all that well. If it’s your infrastructure, your admins will know it intimately. They will know its tendencies and its strengths and weaknesses. They will often be able to respond to issues more quickly and efficiently, since they work with it every day.

Cost

Cost is another factor. Although it may be counter-intuitive -- after all, isn’t it cheaper to let someone else buy all the hardware and software? -- this is often not the case. Managing costs in a public cloud can be a full-time job in itself. Provisioning just the right amount of capacity is a delicate balancing act and getting it wrong can be very expensive. 

With your HCI on-premises, those worries go away. Sure, you still have to be careful about provisioning, but making a mistake won’t cost you a bundle. And costs are more predictable, since scaling up is as simple as adding a node. You’re also not at the mercy of public cloud pricing. Providers charge a premium for their services, and you have no control over what they charge; you just have to pay.

Additional benefits of HCI 

Deliver predictable storage performance for each application. With traditional storage infrastructure, the penalty for getting capacity and performance allocations wrong is complicated and time-consuming data migration or even re-architecting. HCI is ideal for private cloud environments because you can allocate capacity and performance independently for every workload and application and easily adjust allocations. 

Automate data distribution and load balancing. To guarantee performance, HCI balances pools of performance and capacity across the HCI cluster. Resources are provisioned to meet the needs of each volume or virtual disk with performance defined in terms of minimum, maximum, and burst characteristics. Changes to these performance and capacity policies take effect immediately without the need to move data to different storage. 

Confidently mix workloads. A single private cloud platform can support a mix of workload including databases, virtual desktops, and cloud-native apps. Every application gets the performance it needs with no impact to other applications. 

Provision storage the same way you provision virtual compute resources. Storage resources are allocated to each individual volume, virtual volume, or virtual disk from available capacity and IOPS with no storage expertise required. 

Address performance problems instantly. HCI eliminates the penalty for underestimating performance requirements. You simply modify quality-of-service policies to change the settings for minimum, maximum, and burst, and the new settings take effect immediately. No storage vMotion or physical data movement is needed to change performance levels. 

Minimize the impact of failures. Availability is critical to private cloud. HCI can absorb multiple concurrent faults without affecting application performance. Recovering from a drive or node failure takes only minutes and is fully automatic, requiring no operator intervention and eliminating the fire drills that typically occur when a component fails. 

These capabilities are essential for a private cloud operating at scale. 

LRS IT Solutions has the unique ability to provide both Cloud and hyperconverged, private cloud solutions to our clients. We partner with clients to help them create an environment where the requirements drive whether it should live in the cloud or on premises on a hyperconverged platform.