indatacenter The mass adoption of Cloud environments determines more and more companies to carefully look at the option of hyperconvergent IT infrastructure solutions in datacenters. Benefits are easy to measure, but market is changing rapidly, with suppliers updating their portfolio on the go, in order to meet new requirements. Datanet Systems can help you make the right choice and get the expected results.

Over the past few years, HyperConvergent Infrastructure solutions (HCI) have constantly been in the “Top trends in Datacenters”. (Here are the “hottest trends in datacenters in 2016)

The reason is obvious. Although hyperconvergence is no longer a new technology, the main business benefits of HCI solutions are still valuable.

  • Increasing the scalability and flexibility in datacenter infrastructure ;
  • Efficient resource allocation (especially storage);
  • Improving operational efficiency;
  • Cost reduction (both OPEX and CAPEX) ….

… represent for IT administrators priorities just as contemporary as they were two years ago and certainly they will also continue to be in the years to come.


The datacenter hyperconvergence market is accelerating

According to Gartner, hyperconvergence solutions market is estimated to reach $5 billion next year. Also, Markets & Markets predicts $12 billion for 2022 and Grand View Research – nearly $14 billion in 2024. The rise in HCI solutions niche is fueled by market evolution and changes of business models. On one hand there is the pressure of adoption of Cloud services – IDC estimates that 87% of companies are using or plan to use a hybrid environment and 94% plan to use multi-Cloud environments.

On the other hand, 451 Research shows that the use of container-type technologies in the “Cloud-enabling technology” category has increased by 40% in 2016-2017. (The positive evolution is maintained, for 2020 the market value of “containers” is estimated at $2.6 billion , twice the value registered in 2017.)


The hierarchy is changing

Increasing demand for HCI solutions is constantly changing the hierarchy of the market, with Cisco being a relevant example. HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure solution was officially launched in March 2016. At that time a lot of market analysts thought it was too late for Cisco to get on board the “HCI trend”. (Find here what were the proven benefits of hyperconvergence in 2016 )

Invalidated assumptions:

  • January 2017, HyperFlex already had 1,000 clients;
  • June 2017 – 1,500;
  • January 2018 – 2,400.

According to IDC, in Q3/2017, Cisco was the world’s third-largest supplier of worldwide HCI solutions. in a little over a year, the company managed to increase its market share more than four times and revenue by more than 540% (compared to Q3/2016).

Moreover, expectations are higher with the launch of HyperFlex version 3.0, which analysts see as the biggest update since the solution was launched.


Highlights in HyperFlex 3.0

The new Cisco solution comes with a number of important improvements:

  • Multi-hypervisor support. Until version 3.0, HyperFlex had offered for VMWare ESXi only (considered the standard solution in enterprise virtual environments). With the new version, Cisco also added support for Microsoft Hyper-V.
  • Improved container management. HyperFlex 3.0 integrates the FlexVolume driver, which ensures better collaboration with the Kubernetes platform, allowing developers to create native Cloud applications.
  • Guides for specific developments. In order to help customers reduce development time, Cisco has created several implementation instruction sets validated for major enterprise applications (SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, etc.).
  • Performance monitoring in Cloud. With Cisco AppDynamics, administrators can centrally monitor, from a single console, the performance of hybrid applications that run through HyperFlex in public and private Cloud environments.
  • Workload optimisation. Cisco Workload Optimization Manager for HyperFlex provides detailed information on how workloads are performed across different types of datacenter infrastructure, allowing you to choose the best options.
  • Mobility and self-service. With CloudCenter, workloads can be easily moved between public and private Clouds, allowing developers and administrators to provision and modify datacenter infrastructure without the support of IT departments.
  • Increased scalability. Version 3.0 increases from 8 to 64 the number of nodes that can be included in a cluster. In addition, the new stretch clusters functionality allows the expansion of a cluster on a geographic scale (useful to multiple affiliates and / or workstations)
  • Intersight Integration. Integration of HyperFlex Connect into the Intersight IT operations management platform provides companies with extensive visibility into the hybrid and / or multi-cloud environments in which they operate, as well as better integration with other solutions (such as Veeam backup and disaster recovery applications).
  • More Flexible Licensing System. In addition to the basic licensing model, Cisco introduced two options: one for companies that need advanced features and another for remote branch offices or workstations that need less functionalities.


Datacenter use cases  

The application areas of hyperconverged infrastructure solutions are rapidly expanding. Our colleague, Paul Dumitrescu, Data Center Consultant at Datanet Systems, briefly outlined three common scenarios for using HCI solutions:

Virtualization and VDI – One of the most important virtualization benefits is the ability to integrate the hardware layer. The software components for managing a virtual infrastructure that runs within the hypervisor and monitors the hyperconvergence infrastructure, help integrate it. The benefits of this type of implementation are: • reducing the footprint of data centers; • Improving IT operational efficiency • Optimizing user experiences. In addition, organizations that plan to adopt virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) should take into account the hyperconvergent infrastructure solutions, considering that the implementation of VDI on such infrastructure will provide a number of immediate benefits: • Integrated VDI, hypervisor convergence and management; • Fast migration of VMs and applications; • Higher levels of user applications, desktops and user densities.

Datacenter integration of automation, orchestration and analysis – Cisco Hyperflex offers a number of interfaces that provide programmability, automation and reporting. These interfaces include REST APIs and Command Line Interface (CLI) for script automation, allowing tools such as VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) or Microsoft System Center and Windows Azure Pack to easily create custom interfaces (graphs or otherwise) for Cisco Hyperflex. It also allows developers to create their own personalized UIs and access Cisco Hyperflex analysis data. In addition, core analysis information integrates with storage space, VMs, workload performance, CPU utilization and even with user operating experience on account on giving administrators a complete picture of their environment

Container handling – Container technology has reached maturity and is more and more widespread among service providers and a contributing fact is the integration with hyperconvergent infrastructure systems. Docker application packages are found inflexible, highly portable virtual containers. Docker container hosting in VMs on a Hyperflex system allows container migration, permanent storage and local registers, as well as a simplified network and security configuration. Cisco Hyperflex can work with mixed loads and host traditional VMs alongside containers for multiple usage regimes.


Take informed decisions

Specialists recommend that when you decide to take the steps towards a hyperconvergent infrastructure, try to understand what the best use case scenarios are for your company. There are many high-performance solutions for datacenters, but not all HCI systems deliver effective responses to your organisation’s requirements and needs. Therefore, the best solution is to call on an experienced and competent multi-vendor partner in this field.

Datanet Systems has the advantage of being Cisco’s main partner in Romania, but it also has certified specialists in Dell-EMC, VMware, Veeam, NetApp, Microsoft and Fujitsu technologies and solutions. We are one of the most qualified system integrators for datacenters in the country, and the solutions we supply and implement are pretested and validated in our internal laboratory, thus ensuring the fluency of the migration process and stability of the proposed technologies. (Discover our datacenter portfolio)

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