This is part 3 of a 3-part blog series. Read Part 1: Hyperconverged Infrastructure: The Key to Data Valuation. Read Part 2: Creating a Successful Path to Hyperconverged Infrastructure.
The foundational steps toward realizing a Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) are paramount to its success. Now’s the time to go through a final checklist to ensure all necessary components are in place and that none of the preliminary work has been overlooked. Let’s walk through each step:
Support is the most important aspect to consider when evaluating vendors. Support maximizes your operational production, provides critical troubleshooting and minimizes potential downtime. Unified management is the other key vendor aspect to evaluate. The point of adopting a modern infrastructure is simplified management, so this should extend to your vendor for management support. It’s important to speak with vendors about their management features. Do they provide installation and migration assistance? Have they done a similar implementation for another organization in your industry?
A key vendor consideration factor should also include choosing a vendor that’s considered a Super Systems Integrator (SSI). An SSI is an organization that specializes in bringing together stand-alone subsystems and applications. It integrates disjointed software and hardware into a cohesive IT architecture. For the purposes here, a systems integrator should serve to architect, manage and execute your HCI initiatives from planning to implementation.
Employing an SSI with a deep understanding of your infrastructure can be the best HCI solution to help you achieve your business goals. A qualified SSI should be able to anticipate and mitigate common integration challenges while also providing solves, scalability and a greater return on investment.
It’s also crucial that the vendor understand your current environment, your business goals and how they relate to infrastructure modernization. This can all be accomplished in an infrastructure assessment.
You’ll also need to decide on exactly what type of HCI you want to support: cloud, on premises (hardware) or a combination of the two. The cloud option is Hyperconverged as a Software — a hyperconverged cloud platform that typically integrates compute, storage and networking with an automated software-defined data center.
A very strong option here would be VMware vSAN hyperconvergence solutions, as they offer the ability to extend virtualization to storage, providing hyperconverged solutions that work with your existing tools, software and hardware. Plus, vSAN protects your data and simplifies management.
There are also stand-alone hyperconverged appliances, hardware devices that provide multiple data center management technologies. A popular choice for that option is Dell EMC VxRail HCI appliance. VxRail delivers a turnkey experience so your focus can stay on innovation and not troubleshooting. Additionally, VxRail can further expand HCI networking and simplify VMware cloud adoption, including support for many of the most demanding workloads and applications.
The plans are in place, the actions have been templatized, and we’re ready for deployment and go-live. In this phase, it’s easy to get caught up focusing on the actions needed, when in practicality it’s more important to focus on the desired results. Keeping the outcome of efficient cloud management at scale is an effective mindset when executing the initial stages of implementation. Often times, staying focused on roadblocks or potential problem areas lead to clunky execution.
In other words, our goals should be recognizing successful outcomes, measuring success and continually understanding how to repeat that success.
When conducting an infrastructure assessment, Insight often meets with clients who are managing a diverse and hybrid IT landscape that’s a mix of on-premises and the cloud. This usually means that optimizations or upgrades to any piece of that infrastructure is a very manual process that only improves a stand-alone piece of the infrastructure.
When helping clients transform their IT to realize successful results, the goal must be to transition IT operations from manual to automated processes. By putting your goals first, simplifying your approach and working toward an automated and unified solution, your organization will be well on its way to evolving with confidence — not just today, but for the future.