Nick Winkworth

Are “Enterprise Class” servers obsolete in a world of hyperscale architectures?

Blog Post created by Nick Winkworth Employee on Mar 16, 2016

Once upon a time, the definition of “Enterprise Class” was easy. In fact, it could be summed up in one word, “mainframe”.

Hitachi HITAC M640/40 (1990)

Back then, if you wanted your IT infrastructure  to support a business application that simply HAD to be available, there weren’t many options. The fact that there are still many mainframes around – as well as proprietary UNIX systems from the generation that followed – speaks volumes about the persistent and compelling nature of the pressure on IT to increase availability and lower risk -- not to simply reduce cost at any price.


It’s not about technology, however. It’s about values - values driven by business needs, not the latest marketing trends. Those needs – and the values they engender, are as valid today as they ever were. Businesses still depend on applications that cannot go down.


What has changed is the tightening economic climate, and the introduction of pervasive new IT architectures that claim to solve these problems in new ways.


Intel x86 based machines started out as simple file and print servers, but rapidly gained popularity in other applications due to their low cost and high performance. Now they’re being used for everything from specialty software appliances to ‘hyper-scale’ cloud data centers.


But can they be used to create truly enterprise-grade compute infrastructures and support mission critical applications?


The popularity and hype around these new approaches mean that companies who have held on to these large expensive systems are under ever increasing pressure to jump ship to a lower cost alternative, but they believe that if they do, they must give up advanced enterprise features such as hardware partitioning, high availability features and sophisticated management tools.


The good news is, according to a recent white paper published by Evaluator Group, you can “have your cake and eat it too” – that is to say, you can have the cost benefits of the x86 architecture and meet the stringent requirements of business critical applications.

Hitachi Compute Blade 2500

According to Evaluator Group, Hitachi Compute Blade servers meet this high standard, bringing together experience from Hitachi’s heritage in mainframe computing, Intel technology, Japanese innovation, and a fanatical dedication to quality.


The fact is, there is still a place for highly reliable, highly available infrastructure. The new IT datacenter models are good in many cases, but certainly not all. …and you don’t have to hold on to an unreasonably expensive legacy system to get the features you need!


Download this white paper to learn when scale out architectures make sense – and when they might actually cost you more.