We first started talking about the next-generation of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI ) in March this year and at that time what we knew was that there were many reasons why this next-gen solution was going to innovative and efficient. As the year progressed and more details about NetApp’s HCI solution became available in advance of its launch in October, it really does appear that this is a transformative solution, particularly for public sector organizations.
At its core HCI solves several key challenges that public sector organizations face when it comes to delivering on the mission and getting essential services to citizens. Most importantly, as Dan Giannascoli points out in a recent review of NetApp’s HCI solution on IronBow’s Tech Source, HCI takes “three core functions of a data center – compute, storage, and networking and server – and virtualizes them, creating a software-defined IT environment.”
Why is this important for public sector organizations?
It’s important because by delivering simplicity and flexibility through a virtualized environment HCI enables them to overcome resource scarcity, both in terms of budget and personnel. In other words, HCI delivers on the Holy Grail of IT in actually enabling organizations to do more with less.
It accomplishes this major feat in a couple of different ways. Primarily, HCI facilitates the alignment of infrastructure and workload, reducing unnecessary expenses in many areas from over-provisioning to the reduction of power consumption and cooling costs. In fact, early adopters of NetApp’s HCI platform have reported OPEX savings of up to 67 percent. And that’s not small change in today’s IT environment!
Additionally, because data center staff is no longer burdened with administering – by which we really mean fixing – a complex IT environment, they are freed up to “take on more innovative and forward-thinking projects.” As Giannascoli notes, they are now able to respond to the “continually changing environment” that characterizes the rapid pace of evolution that both citizen services and mission-critical activities are experiencing at present.
The first generation of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure did simplify virtualization, but it was limiting in terms of performance. What this next generation of HCI does is address this – and other – challenges and delivers on the promise. From the further simplification of virtualization through workflows and APIs, to bringing flexibility and scalability to compute and storage HCI is now fully able to deliver on the promise. Just ask Dan, or Gartner, or IDG.
Want to read Dan’s article in full? Click here to read his article.