While the improvement of IT management remains a goal for all enterprise IT teams, the true aim for IT departments today should be to simplify IT in order to drive business agility. Unfortunately, simplifying IT isn’t so simple.
Thankfully, the emergence of Hyperconverged Infrastructure has begun to take some of the complexity out of IT management, particularly for our partners who wish to offer their end clients de-risked data centre solutions, but lack the specialist expertise to do so.
To compete in an era of constantly evolving new technologies and disruptive threats, enterprises need maximum agility, as well as the capacity to provide the same superior user experiences (for both customers and employees) as their competitors. In order to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies, and respond nimbly to the impact of these technologies across society, enterprises must transform their business and organisational activities, processes, competencies and overall business function. That’s why Digital Transformation (DX) is no longer really optional.
For IT departments, this means making the transition from legacy IT infrastructures – which can be cumbersome and costly - to flexible and cost-effective Managed IT infrastructures. This is a process fraught with risks, and IT departments are crying out for technology which can ease the path out of legacy IT infrastructure chaos into the ‘promised land’ of virtualisation. This is where the Exponential-e Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) solution comes in.
HCI is the next logical step in the consolidation of server technology that began with server virtualisation – an evolution which had already drastically reduced the amount of equipment used in data centre (DC) design. Sometimes described as the software defined data centre (SDDC), a HCI is managed centrally by one piece of software.
This software, a management interface, controls all infrastructure devices as a single pool of resources, which allows for uniformed management of Compute, Storage, Network and Virtual Machines.
A managed HCI solution provides a range of benefits when compared to the traditional DC infrastructure. These include: Greater cost efficiency: Because it involves less equipment than traditional multi-vendor environments (and the equipment used is low-cost commodity hardware), HCI costs less to purchase, build and maintain. Due to HCI’s scalability (see below), cost-of-entry/CAPEX is significantly decreased, since businesses only need to pay for what they need now, not what they need in five years’ time.
Improved scalability: In an HCI, the hypervisor, server, storage and network are consolidated into a single appliance called a node. These nodes make it easy to scale an HCI solution up and down in line with business needs: it’s simply a matter of deploying or removing nodes.
Tightened security: HCI makes it easy to access, manage and restore data efficiently and securely. With a traditional DC, comprehensive data protection can only be achieved by purchasing a wide range of products; a hyperconverged environment, by contrast, comes with backup, recovery and disaster recovery built-in.
Simplified management: With HCI, ‘under the hood’ software manages the policies controlling the DC resources. This makes it much easier for IT teams to manage those resources, distribute workloads and align IT infrastructure with business processes. IT personnel are then freed to focus on other strategic priorities, such as application service delivery, user demands, and innovation.
Customer service: The UK-based 24x7x365 support that comes with Exponential-e’s fully managed HCI solutions gives corporate IT teams even more freedom to concentrate on helping to make their businesses more competitive in the 21st century digital market.
Our managed HCI solutions can play a pivotal role in allowing our partners to manage any organisation’s mission critical application infrastructure, and are already underpinning a range of successful DX projects for both our clients and those of our partners.
For partners of ours who lack the experience and expertise to offer de-risked DC solutions, having access to pre-designed, pre-tested and bundled solutions is a game-changer. It means they can offer their performative-minded clients a simple, scalable and homogenous single-vendor propositions that are based on industry-leading, best-of-breed technology, and which come complete with a single mirrored end-to-end SLA.
These solutions drive business transformation for our partners’ clients, and in turn they drive revenue growth for our partners. Delivering a managed HCI solution can easily act as a springboard for a partner to become the trusted advisor for their clients. They can then leverage our expertise in Cloud and experience in designing, implementing and supporting client DX strategies to consolidate this position – not to mention to enter new client discussions and increase ICT wallet-share.