Converged & Hyperconverged Infrastructure

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Disaggregated Hyperconverged IT: Why and How

By Colin Gallagher posted 01-23-2020 21:58


A car is a car, right? It gets you from point A to point B. So, why do have a variety of automobiles such as hatchback, sedan, SUV, trucks. Because, each one serves a different purpose. The sedan is good for grocery trips or driving kids to the soccer field. However, heavy-duty all-wheel-drive trucks are suitable for driving on rugged terrains or for moving stuff.

Enterprise IT is no different. Hyperconverged, three-tier IT with dedicated compute, storage, networking components or public cloud have their utility for organizations.

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions such as Hitachi’s UCP HC improve market responsiveness and operational efficiency. The flexibility to scale the IT infrastructure to be in sync with the business services provide the cloud-like speed, but from the realms of on-premises data centers, retaining control over their applications and data. Consolidation of computing, storage and hypervisor layers into a small scale-out appliance such as Hitachi UCP HC eliminated the need for separate resources for storage management, freeing them to focus on innovation and improving productivity.

However, if not carefully planned, HCI may lead to silo’s in the IT landscape, defeating the very purpose it was created for. Existing capital investments in external SAN storage systems should be leveraged. Moreover, the external storage option will continue to be preferred design for certain operating models, where compute and storage follow the different acquisition cycles to meet needs for increased capacity in compute and storage at different stages in IT lifecycle. Customers have pondered about having an integrated IT architecture that allows the coexistence of hyperconverged infrastructure and SAN-storage. while setting up an on-ramp to a hybrid cloud with modern hyperconverged infrastructure. My friend John Nicholson, Technical Architect, VMware vSAN, covered some of the days0-2 automation capabilities on UCP HC in his blog here. 

Below are customer benefits from integrated HCI-SAN architecture:
Policy-based automation:
Storage policy-based management framework available with vSAN HCI and vVols on Hitachi VSP storage allows disaggregated storage infrastructure to be managed with a unified management plane vCenter server. Automating storage provisioning, compliance and change management with policies that express application needs reduces human-errors and frees up the storage management team to drive business innovations.   

Flexible Cloud Infrastructure:
Taking a step further in providing our customers increased choice while designing hybrid cloud, now integrated hybrid cloud solution Hitachi Unified Compute Platform RS, powered by VMware cloud Foundation, introduces the ability to leverage VSP storage systems as primary storage for workload domains. It means investment protection for existing VSP customers and greater flexibility in architecting IT backbone for mixed workloads. Customers can leverage planet’s fastest storage, VSP systems, for latency-critical OLTP and other similar applications.

                                                          On-demand Performance
Disaggregated storage design encompassing HCI and SAN storage virtually ensures an unlimited scale in performance and availability. Flexibility to scale out on HCI cluster or scale up with the recently launched Hitachi VSP 5000 series, the planet’s fastest storage array, with the fastest performance and largest scale, allows customers to innovate on the platform that suits their application requirements.
Many customers, reaching array limits, choose to expand the storage capacity on UCP HC appliances, deferring their high-ticket buying cycle for SAN storage while maintaining a similar management policy-based management framework. A less stated advantage for customers engaging with a portfolio vendor such as Hitachi Vantara is the access to world-leading infrastructure platforms, be it HCI with vSAN or the highest performing VSP storage systems.

Unified Infrastructure Life-cycle Management
One of the biggest challenges in IT operations is the non-disruptive life-cycle management of infrastructure elements. Many IT teams delay firmware upgrades, for the fear of breaking ongoing operations, until performance degradation, security risk or vendor end-of-support declaration pushes them to deploy new patch releases. Recognizing the perennial challenge, Hitachi has developed a comprehensive IT provisioning, monitoring and element management software UCP Advisor that was built from the ground up to cater to the data center modernization projects.
UCP Advisor helps customers optimally manage their HCI and SAN storage hardware through the lifecycle so they can maximize the RoI, without compromising on security or compliance.


Additionally, if you are leveraging VMFS, UCP Advisor provides flexibility to create datastores on external VSP SAN storage.

Unified Inventory and Monitoring
Gone are the days when you needed multiple software interfaces to have visibility into IT environments consisting of HCI appliances and SAN storage systems. With Hitachi UCP Advisor, you have a comprehensive view of integrated storage landscape down to the disks and network ports. Natively built-in alert capabilities trigger notifications informing you of a potential breach of pre-set limits. Global management and monitoring with UCP Advisor eliminate the complexity of infrastructure management of disaggregated storage architecture.


Data migration:
Integrated design of vSAN hyperconverged and external storage provides flexibility to plan the migration from traditional storage to HCI cluster. Datacenter refresh is a good opportunity to move legacy data across storage platforms. Storage vMotion can be leveraged to effect the data migration vSAN to vVols datastore or vice-versa. 

Watch out this space for innovation on hybrid cloud automation technologies and what it means for modern businesses.

1 comment



04-26-2022 13:05

Good Read