The biggest benefit of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) is its ability to reduce operational investments in non-value added or commoditized technology. With HCI, you’re able to completely eliminate almost all of the labor associated with managing infrastructure that supports virtualization platforms. In the longer term, HCI will reduce the amount of money invested in licensing and software to manage infrastructure and virtualization platforms because HCI is so simple and straightforward.
In the old, legacy IT system, it took a lot time and effort to provision virtualization stacks in a three-tier architecture. HCI reduces complexity through software and automation maintained by HCI vendors such as BreakFree-recommended Nutanix. Nutanix’s HCI IT stack comes pre-configured and is literally plug and play. Once setup, you’ve got compute and storage capacity automatically added to a pool of resources that allows you to run virtual machines, big data workloads, virtual desktops, and event containers.
What used to take specialized configuration software and human interaction to do no longer needs the effort. Instead, there’s an extreme reduction in the investment needed in the management of infrastructure that supports virtualization. Through automation and software, which was pioneered by companies such Google and Facebook, HCI completely shifts where we make our investments.
Let’s look at leading cloud providers AWS and Azure. They saw infrastructure from a physical and raw capacity perspective and placed software configuration on top of it. Once they did that, they started to automate that software configuration, and today we’re to the point where running virtual machines is very simple. The biggest challenge we see with HCI adoption is IT leadership lacking the courage and conviction required when going up against the status quo, the uncertainty and doubt generated by incumbent vendors who fear change.
We need to stop worrying about the underlying hardware platform. I started my career in a time where examining hardware specs was critical. What kind of CPU? Was it compatible? Does this port match? Over time, I had to change my way of thinking because the hardware has been solved, and it is time to stop trying to solve it. But incumbent vendors don’t want to solve it because their products haven’t changed in years. That’s why we’ve aligned ourselves with the leading HCI technology vendor Nutanix, whose next gen products are leading the shift from legacy IT to New IT.
The organizations I’ve spoken with that have gone “all-in” on hyper-converged are not asking about what the next CPU, memory, or hard drives to be supported by Nutanix are or even what features Nutanix will soon be offering. Instead, they are asking how can we utilize all of the now available operational resources to expand our capabilities in public cloud and automation, so we can truly impact our business units in a positive way.
HCI’s true capabilities show that continued investments in tools, technologies and skill-sets focused on the exiting virtual machine-based three-tier, IT architecture are a waste. Instead, HCI allows IT groups, as well as our technology budgetary spend, to be repurposed to focus on more impactful value-add services and technologies, which include public cloud, distributed computing, platform as a service (Paas), and software as a service (SaaS).