Nick Winkworth

“Drink me” – What Alice can teach us about scaling.

Blog Post created by Nick Winkworth Employee on Jun 5, 2018

I expect most of you are familiar with “Alice in Wonderland”, the story of the little girl who goes down a rabbit hole to a place where magical drinks and foods allow her to grow large and shrink small.


You may remember that this was not the happiest experience for poor Alice.


Soon after she arrives, Alice discovers a tiny door to a beautiful garden – far too tiny for her to get through. On a small table a bottle marked “drink me” causes her to shrink down to the size she wants, but then she realizes that the key to the door is still on the table – way above her reach!


While it’s certainly important to have a clear goal when scaling IT systems up or down (in our analogy that garden might represent lower costs, new application support, or easier management), unless you consider all the factors that ensure success, you may still find your goal is out of reach.


If you scale your system with a simple building block approach to achieve the correct processing capacity, for example, you may find you have too much (or too little) storage – preventing you from reaching your goal. And if your scaled system generates a lot more data, that data must not just be stored, but enriched by adding metadata, and activated with analytics to generate actionable insights. Management capabilities must grow or shrink to match new demands without adding resources or losing functionality and network capacity must be matched to the new requirements too.


Converged infrastructure such as Hitachi Vantara’s Unified Compute Platform CI (UCP CI) addresses these concerns by allowing individual system elements to scale independently. You can configure server, storage and networking to meet the exact needs of your workload without unexpected surprises or additional expenses blocking your objectives. Pre-tested configurations make sure that performance meets expectations, while automated management tracks usage and alerts you if capacity thresholds are crossed.



Later in the story, Alice, tired of being small, finds a cake labeled “eat me” and grows large again. However instead of stopping at her normal size she continues growing until she imagines her feet are so far away that she will have to write letters to them and send them new boots by mail!


In our data center analogy we can see that scaling presents many challenges for management and communication. UCP CI solves many of these problems through UCP Advisor’s automated AI based management and policy-based provisioning. When systems grow to span multiple data centers it becomes a challenge to keep management – and management costs – to the same level as before. UCP Advisor makes this possible by allowing multiple federated systems to be operated under a single management paradigm, and Global Active Device (GAD) allows data to be protected across geographically separated data centers.



Today’s IT departments must be able to scale up AND scale out, all while keeping operations efficient and costs under control.


Can your IT department scale in the real world? Or is that just a fantasy?


To find out how UCP converged and hyperconverged systems from Hitachi Vantara can help you scale without pain, read this white paper from 451 Research.