Clearpath’s Blog on IT Infrastructure, Hybrid Clouds and IT Security

Powering Up: Getting the Most out of Hyper-Convergence with Cisco and Zerto

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Apr 03, 2018 @ 10:15 AM

There’s little doubt that CIOs are interested in hyper-convergence.  In fact, according to IDC, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions are the fastest growing segment in storage solutions today.1  The promise of hyper-convergence is simplifying the operation and management of on-premises infrastructure through custom-built appliances that combine compute, network, and storage functions - all united through virtualization. 

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The concept has been a glimmer in many a CIO eye for awhile now—but the application of HCI was often limited to specific use cases such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) initiatives.  However, the latest generation of hyper-converged solutions like Cisco ‘s Hyperflex has really expanded to be a scalable platform for databases, commercial applications, collaboration, file and print services, and more.1  That’s got enterprises of all sizes wanting to adopt HCI.

The real promise of a future-forward data center also needs to incorporate cloud, and many HCI vendors are partnering with both cloud-providers and software providers to build a total end-to-end software-defined data center that extends from the physical data center and out to the cloud.  One such vendor that’s providing valuable multi-cloud integration with HCI solutions is Zerto. 

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Topics: Cisco, Zerto, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Getting the Most Mileage Out of Your Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) Solution

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Mar 20, 2018 @ 09:44 AM

While many organizations are moving toward hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) models for a variety of reasons, there are some areas that need to be considered when mapping out your own storage solution with an HCI approach.

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First of all—there are two main driving forces toward HCI: cost savings and efficiency gains.  Many software-defined HCI storage solutions are designed to run  on commodity hardware, which means many organizations can either repurpose existing hardware or purchase lower-cost commodity x86 compliant storage – and let the hypervisor layer determine the storage operation and function—something typically done by bare-metal, storage specific hardware that was often proprietary.  With solutions like VMware vSAN demonstrating 50% cost savings over industry-leading proprietary equipment—it’s no wonder CIOs are looking towards HCI as a storage solution of the future. 1

The efficiency gains promised by HCI storage solutions come mainly in increased storage performance and reductions in operating expenses.  A large part of this savings comes from the common management and administration of a virtualization platform that covers all three pillars of the traditional data center: compute, storage, and network.  However, the interweaving of all components of the data center into a hyper-converged infrastructure also means IT departments need to take careful note of how the network and the storage will interact.

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Topics: VMware, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, vSAN, HCI

Hyper-Converged Infrastructures, Storage Virtualization, or Software-Defined Storage: Is There a Clear Path Ahead?

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Mar 13, 2018 @ 10:06 AM

The move to hyper-converged infrastructures (HCI) is on! 

However, many CIOs hit the brakes when it comes to knowing how to implement HCI initiatives and not wreck the IT budget.  Certainly—one doesn’t want to replace all the existing equipment in the data center with converged infrastructure appliances all at once.  Is there a way to use existing infrastructure and still take advantage of hyper-convergence and software-defined infrastructure while planning for equipment replacements down the road?

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The simple answer is YES.  And by building on existing infrastructure and leveraging commodity x86 equipment—CIOs can experience significant CapEx savings compared to hardware replacements.  Certainly CIOs’ ears prick up when they hear figures of nearly 50% savings,1 but what does this mean for an IT department?  Are there any other advantages to creating a virtual SAN now versus just waiting to implement HCI appliances as hardware refresh cycles come due?

It is critical that differences between software-defined storage (SDS) and storage virtualization be understood.  While there is some overlap between the two—an ideal solution combines both SDS and storage virtualization for maximum benefit to the organization.

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Topics: VMware, vSphere, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, vSAN, HCI

Hyper-converged Infrastructure Benefits with Dell EMC VxRack FLEX

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Nov 14, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

IT teams face plenty of challenges daily, and with the ever-changing technology landscape, it can be difficult to keep up. Enterprises are embracing hyper-converged infrastructures as a way to modernize the data center, automate service delivery and transform IT operations. 

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As organizations continue to look for ways to deliver a cloud-like experience on-premises, hyper-converged offerings are exceeding expectations. The Dell EMC VxRack System FLEX is a rack-scale hyper-converged system that delivers maximum scalability and business agility, enabling companies to scale their data center growth in flexible, discrete increments.

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Topics: Data Center, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, Dell EMC

Cisco Launches Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Offering HyperFlex

Posted by Will Sauter on Tue, Mar 01, 2016 @ 01:33 PM

Cisco announced their new Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) offering earlier today. It is based on their tried and proven UCS compute platform combined with their HX Data Platform software (an evolution of the Springpath relationship). While one might think that there are enough HCI vendors in this space, Cisco is the first to bundle compute, storage, and networking in an easy to consume and predictable package.

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Topics: Cisco UCS, Cisco, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

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