Using Hyper-converged Infrastructure to Empower DevOps

Organizations are under extreme pressure to accelerate development cycles and ensure quality assurance for new applications. This has led to the growing importance of DevOps teams, which tightly integrate application development with IT operations. The DevOps market is growing at a compound annual rate of 18%, expected to reach $8.8 billion by 2023.1

To meet the challenges of faster development cycles and improved quality assurance, DevOps teams must spin up infrastructure resources quickly and efficiently. The traditional model of putting in a requisition order with IT and then waiting for approvals, procurement, installation and deployment is becoming a relic of the past. Business leaders don’t have the time, and DevOps teams don’t have the patience.

This need for rapid infrastructure deployment is one of the reasons many DevOps teams are turning to public cloud. In this environment, however, with most organizations embracing IT transformation, an important question for IT teams to ask is this: Should DevOps be allowed to use rogue shadow IT public cloud services, or is there a better way to support DevOps using an alternative that embraces hybrid cloud?

To the latter, the answer is a resounding yes. There is a better way to support DevOps, and that is through hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). With HCI, IT can easily and cost-efficiently empower DevOps through on-premises and hybrid cloud solutions. By using HCI, IT can accelerate and simplify the provisioning of infrastructure resources for DevOps teams while maintaining the control and security required of every business-critical application.

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Why HCI for DevOps?
DevOps teams must quickly access the infrastructure resources they need to do their jobs. Legacy procurement models and siloed IT infrastructures don’t meet today’s needs. HCI provides an ideal solution. It is a single procurement order that eliminates the silos between compute, storage and networking.

HCI is managed under a unified platform with software-defined processes for automation and the ability to manage single pools of compute and storage resources rather than more siloed environments. IT staff are freed up to focus on more strategic projects when they no longer need to spend time configuring and deploying each part of the stack, or worry about their interoperability and lifecycle management.

This is beneficial to IT teams because they can use generalists instead of specialists. HCI is also far more cost-effective than do-it-yourself IT with siloed stacks. According to one study, the Dell EMC VxRail solution delivers up to a 30% total cost of ownership (TCO) advantage.2

HCI is also beneficial to DevOps teams because they don’t have to worry about doing their own installations or writing custom code to automate infrastructure provisioning. They can deploy HCI and be productive immediately, while leveraging a range of other benefits, such as space and power savings, greater reliability, higher availability and others.

Beyond all those benefits, HCI provides a simple and efficient path to hybrid cloud, so DevOps teams that want to leverage public cloud services can do so under IT’s control. This enables the organization to eliminate many of the security risks that are inherent with uncontrolled shadow IT initiatives. It also enables IT to set policies for deployments without affecting DevOps productivity.

Further, HCI gives both IT and DevOps a simple way to scale infrastructure resources as needed. Once a full development cycle is completed, a turnkey HCI appliance can be simply and easily deployed somewhere else in the organization, as opposed to a traditional IT stack. Or, if DevOps needs more resources, IT can simply add another HCI appliance and have it up and running quickly and without lengthy procurement processes.

Digital transformation is making DevOps an even more important aspect of doing business today. As organizations rely on their IT infrastructure to support all business operations, they must quickly develop new applications and services with high quality to meet changing customer expectations and support new business models. Those organizations that can’t react with speed and agility run the risk of being disrupted.

HCI is emerging as a powerful tool for IT to empower DevOps and support organizationwide innovation. With HCI, IT can give DevOps teams the infrastructure resources they need, when and where they need them. What’s more, HCI enables IT to embrace hybrid cloud and thereby reduce security and other risks endemic to uncontrolled shadow IT initiatives. It’s a win-win-win—for IT, for DevOps, and for the business as a whole.

1DevOps Market to Reach a Market Size of $8.8 Billion by 2023,” KBV Research, Aug. 3, 2017
2TCO Study: Dell EMC VxRail vs. DIY HCI Using vSAN ReadyNodes Configuration,” Silverton Consulting, July 2017