First generation hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) simplified virtualization for customers across the public sector but was limiting in terms of performance; which is one of the many reasons NetApp decided to bring the new and improved HCI to market. With guaranteed performance and quality of service backed by SolidFire, NetApp’s HCI enables public sector customers to do more with less while being a more economically viable investment than the previous generation HCI. We wanted to hear more about what NetApp HCI brings to the market and had a chance to sit with Dale Degen, Director of Product and Solutions Marketing at SolidFire NetApp for his insights. Here’s what he had to say:

GovDataDownload (GDD): Can you talk about how the new NetApp HCI is a game changer in the market?

Dale Degen (DD): We determined that the first generation HCI lacked performance controls, flexibility, and prevented the consolidation of mixed workloads for the data center. NetApp HCI is a game changer because we believe it’s foreshadowing the next generation data center and where HCI is going. We are now able to deliver guaranteed performance and quality of service from NetApp architectures with HCI, allowing customers to deliver applications with confidence. Our next generation HCI allows customers to consolidate mixed workloads of very different types of performance characteristics, avoiding “noisy neighbors”. We also feel the gaps of performance, flexibility and consolidation have been fixed by allowing public sector customers to scale to their needs. They can now independently grow compute and storage, easily and elastically.

GDD: How will HCI enable public sector customers to do more with less?

DD: We are bringing HCI simplicity to a new level with the automated infrastructure it provides. HCI empowers public sector IT operations to do more with less because everything is created through simple workflows or API’s. Every single command has an API that is controlled through vCenter so our customers don’t have to learn a brand new management console. Now, one admin can scale a few nodes to hundreds of nodes of compute and storage in a way that could never happen before.

At a portfolio level, our data fabric allows customers to use the power of their data wherever it makes sense, so they aren’t confined to a pure HCI environment. With our solution, there is seamless integration across our entire NetApp portfolio whether customers are seeking SolidFire, ONTAP or even our hybrid cloud offerings.

Find out more about NetApp’s HCI with this video:

GDD: How is the new HCI is more efficient than the first generation system?

DD: Most of our customers are looking to build out next generation data centers that are truly automated. HCI can manage many disparate workloads and dynamically allocate both capacity and performance as needed. I think that’s really changing the game of HCI and allowing customers the simplicity of HCI without having to compromise anything.

GDD: How does NetApp guarantee performance with the new HCI?

DD: NetApp SolidFire has an industry leading quality of service where administrators can dynamically manage and control performance, enforcing minimum and maximum settings for each application and volume. We can now allocate performance out per workload so customers have a very predictable environment with no noisy neighbors, making this a game changer in the marketplace and something no one else currently offers.

GDD: Can you talk about how HCI is an investment for public sector customers?

DD: As compute and storage needs grow and scale, customers can match their investments independently such that there is no over provisioning or over-buying of storage or compute. This is different than the first generation HCI where customers would sometimes be forced to buy compute or storage when it wasn’t needed. Additionally, first generation HCI often forced our public sector customers to needlessly pay for per-core application licensing that was not being used.  NetApp HCI takes that away, saving tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.