Federal Next-Gen Data Center

3 Ways HCI 2.0 Propels Federal IT Modernization Forward

Hyper-converged infrastructure cloud servers
Editorial Team
Written by Editorial Team

Today, federal IT decision makers are managing the pressures of shrinking budgets and ever-expanding data sets while being pushed to do more with less. And because today’s tech landscape demands agencies be more agile, secure, and efficient regardless of their limited resources, these decision makers must work smarter and harder.

The fact that the federal government spends 80 percent of its IT budget operating and maintaining outdated legacy systems, some of which date back to the 1980s or even earlier, is also unhelpful. This means only 20 percent of a diminishing IT budget is available to spend on new technologies and innovation.

So, how do you use your limited staff, resources, and funds most efficiently as a federal IT decision maker? 

To solve these challenges, agencies are turning to the newest generation of hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions. Unlike prior versions, HCI 2.0 allows you to easily scale and handle heavier workloads, while also providing end users with more reliable service.

“The evolution of HCI has come at a critical juncture where agencies are continuing to consolidate their on-premise footprint but are also looking to maintain their performance and streamline integration with the cloud. The next generation of HCI systems provide unprecedented levels of modularity as well as simple-to-manage and flexible-to-scale solutions to address these needs and transform legacy infrastructure into successful next generation data centers,” says Michael Donchatz, Principal Architect & Team Lead at Force 3. 

In the past, each workload required you to build application-specific environments, a time and resource-intensive process. The new generation of HCI allows you to put disparate workloads on the same platform without sacrificing quality of service.

Here are three ways HCI 2.0 helps federal agencies offer higher-quality service while reducing IT costs and management.

1. Consolidate All of Your Workloads

In the past, HCI required application-specific environments for each workload.

If you didn’t build out unique environments, one application’s usage could spike and negatively impact the resources available for other workloads. For example, your VoIP system might spike during periods of high volume. This could impede other applications and workloads across your agency, potentially causing them to crash.

Next-generation HCI solutions don’t have this limitation. Instead, all of your workloads can be consolidated into a single infrastructure while offering ongoing reliable performance.

HCI 2.0 lets you define the minimum and maximum performance requirements for each workload. If an app tries to surpass its limit, you can prevent it from affecting your other systems. This guarantees that all of your systems maintain an acceptable level of performance.

Consolidating your workloads also allows you to operate within a smaller footprint, and, as a result, boost your efficiencies and get more value from your existing resources.

2. Accelerate Your Move to the Cloud

Since 2011, the U.S. government has required federal agencies to evaluate cloud services before making new technology investments. The government wants agencies to take advantage of the cloud’s many benefits, from reduced capital expenditure to increased agility. To facilitate the move to the cloud, the federal government has created a list of authorized cloud services.

Despite the government’s push, federal CIOs still struggle with delivering and managing cloud services. In particular, they don’t have the budget for staff to oversee their cloud initiatives. The latest HCI solutions ease your move to the cloud and help you deliver reliable services to end users — without making a large investment in staff or technology.

With HCI 2.0’s scalability, you can host applications in a controlled, private cloud that requires little oversight to maintain. Some HCI solutions establish service level agreements (SLAs) that define availability and offer native data protection. So, if you experience a failure, your system should restore without administrator intervention and without affecting application performance, per the availability outlined in your SLA.

3. Comply with Demanding Regulations

Your agency’s IT infrastructure must comply with numerous laws and regulations governing everything from data security to performance levels. Yet 49 percent of government agencies say that outdated systems don’t meet their current performance requirements. Meanwhile, 38 percent worry about poor end user experiences.

While federal agencies recognize these problems, their IT teams often lack the time and resources to regularly assess their IT infrastructure for compliance. An enterprise-scale HCI solution makes it easier for you to meet your performance, technology and security standards. For example, NetApp HCI allows you to set performance levels, so you can improve usability to better achieve your mission.

Further still, next-generation HCI empowers your agency to deliver services faster, particularly from an application development perspective. HCI 2.0 offers an agile, yet secure, system for building out multi-tenant applications. As a result, application developers can use the same code when they flip between your test and production environments. This decreases the risk of human error and provides predictable performance throughout the entire development process.

Enterprise-scale HCI helps you overcome the barriers of a limited budget and staff. It allows you to harness the power of your existing resources to boost your agility and efficiencies. Finally, it improves your ability to meet a range of compliance issues, from performance to security.

About the author

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The GovDataDownload editorial team consists of Shany Seawright, Chelsea Barone, and Margaret Brown. You can reach the team at editors@govdatadownload.com.