The concept of Virtualisation should be pretty much known to everyone working in IT by now. It’s such a widely used term that it even passes the ‘mum test’ in that it’s a word my own mother is familiar with – that just goes to show how Virtualization has become the defacto standard of running services these days. In the last five years however, Virtualization has metamorphosed into a new simpler and faster method of provisioning servers: Hyperconvergence.
Businesses Virtualise these days to reduce the amount of server ‘metal’ they need to buy and maintain, to increase availability by deploying H/A VM setups to move or migrate servers from hardware to hardware and to roll back entire server states using snapshots. Reducing the number of physical servers however, does not necessarily mean you will reduce your IT budget, nor will it reduce the size of your IT department, as many Virtualisation setup can become quite complicated.
ACC have solutions to combat the challenge of cost and complexity when it comes to embarking on, or changing, your VM strategy:
It’s understandable that most people think that any product with the word ‘Oracle’ in front of it, is going to be painfully expensive to run. It’s always a big surprise when we tell customers that aside from a minisule support payment, Oracle’s Enterprise VM solution, Oracle VM, isn't just low cost, it's absolutely FREE. You can find out more on this solution over on our Oracle VM page, but the ideal type of organisation that would benefit from Oracle VM Virtualization is one that:
We have known the good people of Scale Computing for a very long time, way back when they made a storage only product. This was not as well known in the industry as your HP or your DELL storage solution, but it was extremely solid. From our point of view it was good, but there were no real additional benefits to warrant the pain of moving customers off existing HP storage solutions over to Scale storage. I think that’s what many other people though too. But the arrival of HC3, the ability to run VM's on top of their mature storage clustering solution – that changed everything.
Pretty much all mainstream virtualisation only solutions (including our Oracle VM solution mentioned above) are simply software. They will require your IT team to source and setup storage clustering, usually in the form of a Storage Area Network (SAN). Then you will need server hardware on which to install your VM software. Finally there is a significant amount of work in networking in getting both storage, servers and VM software to talk together. Actually simply talking together is not enough, any system where you are placing multiple VM servers on fewer hardware servers will need to have resilience built into it right through the middle. Every single point of failure must be removed, from SANs, to Switches to Servers. All of this can be rather complicated, so we coin the phrase, Spaghetti infrastructure. Experienced IT pros will have no problem eating their Spaghetti off a spoon with one hand behind their backs, but for those that are less experienced, or simply do not have the time in their busy day to manage something like this an alternative solution is needed.
The big difference with Hyperconvergence is that solutions are delivered essentially working, out of the box. There is no storage to configure as it’s all part of the same solution. Networking is usually (as is with the Scale product) extremely simple. We have set up Scale Computing clusters and been using VM servers created on them, in under 30 minutes from unboxing. That’s how easy these systems are to get going, and run. So the HyperConvergence customer does not mind investing or re-investing in new hardware because he or she will know the replacement solution will do everything. There is no reason to buy / keep using the expensive SAN and there is no need to pretty much configure anything. One person can easily set up and manage a Scale Computing cluster, and spend a minimal amount of time a week looking after it.
Would you rather spend most of your time focused on looking after the applications and services you are providing, or would you like to have to allocate large amounts of time to look after the VM infrastructure your servers are sitting on?