At this point, Microsoft environments are used by corporations everywhere. Over the past 30 years, most organizations around the world have standardized on Windows with significant investments in their Microsoft environments, including licensing, configuration, professional services and infrastructure for Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, PC lifecycle management and more. Using whatever their latest version of technology…
Converged and hyper-converged infrastructures are the next step for companies in the age of virtualization. It is time to embrace a service-centric delivery model and take advantage of the ability to increase agility, reduce costs, and deploy modernized infrastructures that support cloud capabilities such as resource pooling, self-service provisioning, and simplified scalability.
Converged solutions simplify and accelerate deployments, they have some hidden benefits as well, such as significantly improving availability. The days of a 9 to 5 are over, especially in this industry. This is an “Always On” business and being able to provide functionalities like self-healing, clustering, and failover is not just a want, it’s a need. Convergence has become a huge trend in IT, which isn’t surprising when you realize all the added benefits.
There are two different approaches a company can take when deciding how to proceed: converged or hyper-converged.
• Servers, storage, and networking are integrated & managed with a unified platform
• Simpler to provision, deploy, and pool infrastructure resources
• Often deployed as pre-integrated, pre-validated appliances
• Save time & effort in specifying, purchasing, and integrating the solution
• Appliance model accelerates deployments and simplifies operational management and scaling
• Deployed using vendor-certified reference architectures
• Tailored to meet needs of specific applications and workloads
• Software-centric architecture
• Integrates compute, storage, networking, and virtualization resources as well as other technologies from scratch in a commodity hardware box
• Supported by a single vendor
• Virtualization and software capabilities are extended across servers, networking, and storage
• Simpler to centrally manage
• Use automation and orchestration tools
Convergence also offers users the ability to begin the process of modernizing their data centers without having to tear down their existing infrastructures. Both converged and hyper-converged infrastructures can be deployed to modernize legacy applications during normal refresh cycles for servers or storage. They can also support new applications or workloads like virtual desktop infrastructure or development and operations without interfering with existing production environments. All this to say that the IT department is able to operate in a much more efficient way that overall benefits the organization as a whole.
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Whether you choose a converged or hyper-converged solution, you will have the opportunity to upgrade your availability capabilities and permanently close your Availability Gap. The key is to deploy an availability solution that leverages the benefits of virtualization and convergence. Your integrated availability solution should be:
• Convergence-agnostic: Whether you are using a converged infrastructure or hyper-converged infrastructure, you should be able to use the same availability solution. This will give you much greater deployment flexibility and make it much easier to scale your environment. The solution should work seamlessly with the industry-leading virtualization platforms.
• Tightly integrated with primary storage: Your solution should integrate with the primary storage solution that is deployed in the converged infrastructure. A modern availability solution will use storage snapshots for backup and replication to ensure that you are consistently up to date. You can implement a near-continuous data protection process without adding cost or complexity, and you can also create on-demand sandboxes for DevOps with no disruption to production environments.
• Intelligent and predictive: Visibility is crucial to ensuring high availability. Your solution should incorporate tools that enable real-time monitoring, reporting and capacity planning for your backup and virtual infrastructures.
Shifting to a converged solution is not just the popular thing to do, it is the right thing to do if you want to see your company succeed. If you are willing to make the move, it is paramount that you upgrade and modernize your availability approach as well. If you fail to do so, you may end up widening that Availability Gap rather than shrinking it. Improvements in backups, replication, and recovery are vital to today’s virtualized environments. This industry moves fast and it’s easy to get left behind if you aren’t properly equipped to handle the constant changes. Get ahead while you can. If you need a partner in virtualizing your infrastructure and taking the first steps towards convergence and hyper-convergence, our Devoted Engineers are here to help!
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