Hyper-converged infrastructure is one of the industry’s hottest technologies, expected to grow at a staggering annual rate of 48% through 2022.1 One of the major reasons for this growth is the reality that HCI significantly reduces complexity for IT teams and enables organizations to use their precious IT resources more strategically. Here are the top 10 ways HCI eases the burden on IT teams.
Reason No. 1: Faster deployments
HCI is deployed as a single, fully-integrated, preconfigured and tested solution. A solution such as Dell EMC VxRail takes an average of 20 minutes to set up and 5 minutes to scale.
Reason No. 2: Extensive automation
An HCI solution incorporates a unified management platform that automates many manual functions across compute, storage and networking. Automation in HCI accelerates time to value and eases pressure on IT teams. A build-your-own deployment takes relatively 4.6 times longer to set up than VxRail, with initial system initialization and configuration taking approximately five more hours and 96 more steps.2
Reason No. 3: Simplified procurement processes
IT can purchase an HCI solution with a single purchase order, whereas with a traditional IT stack, there may be separate POs and approval processes for servers, storage and networking. The older model is not only inefficient, but can also be incredibly time-consuming, negatively affecting speed to market. HCI, on the other hand, enables IT to accelerate time to market.
Reason No 4: Flexible procurement options
IT teams are constantly evaluating new financial consumption models for the term of investment and capital outlay. With innovative payment models such as Cloud Flex for HCI from Dell EMC, organizations can use HCI to shift to an Opex model that requires no upfront investment and has declining payments over time.
Reason No. 5: Less downtime
Any downtime is a huge problem in today’s era of 24/7 global business operations. Ninety-eight percent of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs more than $100,000, and a third of large enterprises say the hourly costs of downtime are more than $1 million.3 Lab testing by Enterprise Strategy Group shows that HCI solutions deliver high reliability and availability:
ESG Lab confirmed the high availability and reliability capabilities of the VxRail hyper-converged appliance running VMware virtual SAN architecture. Redundant components and shared resources ensured that HD video playback on a four-node appliance remained online while components were systematically failed. Also, a granular view of the system along with health alerts quickly displayed where the failures occurred on the physical components, enabling faster identification and eventual remediation of the failures.4
Reason No. 6: Reduced data center footprint
HCI enables IT to significantly reduce the amount of space taken up by equipment, cables and power. According to a survey by Dell EMC and Intel, saving data center space is the No. 1 reason IT teams turn to HCI, cited by 55% of respondents.5
Reason No. 7: Better use of IT personnel
Because HCI integrates compute, storage and networking functions, it can be easily managed and supported by an IT generalist, rather than requiring specialized expertise. This enables IT to focus staff talents on innovation to help the business grow and become more profitable.
Reason No. 8: Simpler scalability
HCI solutions are simple to scale. With Dell EMC VxRail, IT teams can leverage one-click software and firmware upgrades as well as non-disruptive single-node scaling and storage capacity expansion for a “pay as you grow” approach to scaling out as business needs change.
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Reason No. 9: Flexibility in hypervisor selection
Many organizations now deploy multiple hypervisors. With Dell EMC VxRail, organizations can leverage the broadest portfolio of HCI products to fit the challenges of different applications, workloads and environments, including on-premises data centers and hybrid clouds. Additional choice gives IT teams flexibility to use existing knowledge, expertise, experience and tool sets.
Reason No. 10: Simpler, centralized, global support
One of the biggest challenges with traditional legacy IT stacks is that they often incorporate solutions from different vendors. When things go wrong, the finger-pointing can be a huge problem, causing downtime and delays. With Dell EMC VxRail, IT teams can turn to a single point of global 24/7 support for both the hardware and software.
HCI brings tremendous value to the business, supporting IT transformation by modernizing and automating IT operations. The organization benefits by being more agile, cost-efficient and cloud-enabled. From the perspective of the IT department, the reduced complexity of HCI is a huge value that brings a wide range of benefits—starting with the 10 outlined here. And there are many more.
1 “Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) – Global Market Outlook (2016-2022),” Stratistics, November 2016
2 “Dell EMC VxRail Appliance Cost and Maintenance Advantages,” Edison Group, May 2016
3 “Cost of Hourly Downtime Soars: 81% of Enterprises Say it Exceeds $300K on Average,” Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, Aug. 2, 2016
4 “ESG Lab Validation: VxRail Hyper-converged Appliances from Dell EMC,” Enterprise Strategy Group, January 2017
5 “Creating Efficiency with Converged Infrastructure: How to Reduce Overall Space,” Data Center Knowledge, Jan. 18, 2017