Simplifying IT with Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

by September 6, 2019 0 comments

The growing digital eco-system is connecting everyone together. Already, more than a quarter of India’s population is connected to the Internet and that too mostly through their mobiles. They don’t just connect to seek information. They do it to conduct financial transactions, collaborate with others, consume entertainment content, run productivity applications and much more.

In fact, it’s not just people, but everything is getting inter-connected nowadays, thanks to IoT. Sensors are being embedded into just about every device, be it a smartwatch or smartphone or even cars, sports equipment, UPS or inverter. Inter-connectivity has moved from H2H (human to human) to H2M (Human to machine) and even M2M (machine to machine).

This has resulted in a considerable jump in the number of transactions taking place. This, in turn, has increased network traffic, thereby making its manageability and security more complex as it traverses through different ‘clouds’. The cloud acts as an enabler to connect them for any time, anywhere access.

In fact, this growing number and types of inter-connected, data-generating devices and the cloud are redefining the network edge.

Relation between Digital ecosystem and Hyper-Convergence

The basic relation between the growing digital ecosystem and Hyper-Convergence is the need for speed, simplicity, flexibility and security in your data centre. You need to be able to quickly put together the required storage, compute and network equipment when you need to roll out new digital initiatives.

This is difficult and time consuming with existing IT infrastructure with its disparate resources. A Hyper-Converged Infrastructure or HCI, on the other hand, combines virtualised storage, compute and networking into a commercial off-the-shelf server, making it easy to manage. Because of the virtualization element, HCI becomes a software-defined environment. This makes it easier to manage and reduces cost.

According to market experts, the HCI market is growing Year-on-Year at 46-50% in India alone. So, while edge computing hogs all the limelight because of high visibility, it’s incomplete without a solid core, which comes from Hyper-Converged Infrastructure.

Complexities With Current Digital Ecosystem

As the edge has become so dynamic, existing data centres can’t really respond quickly enough to the changing requirements. Let’s understand this with an example. Suppose you want to integrate your customers with your CRM software, the service engineers and the help ticket application.

This would have a lot of dependencies, like the right database, the right APIs that connect different applications, etc. Now suppose you have a customer complaining to the chat-bot on your portal and the chat-bot is not able to resolve the query. In such a case, the chatbot should be able to simultaneously connect to the CRM system and pull out the customer’s details, raise a ticket, and immediately alert the field service engineer.

All this would be very time consuming and complex on a traditional infrastructure. This is where you need HCI, which is all manageable from a single console.

So while on the edge, you’ll have IoT devices, mobile apps, facial recognition apps, etc., that would be communicating with middleware applications like your AI system, Blockchain, the algorithms, CRM system, databases etc. These would, in turn, be hosted on infrastructure and if that’s not fast enough to ensure quick response and secure enough to protect all the data, it would lead to customer dissatisfaction and security breaches.

Digital transformation is essential for just about every industry today and to enable that, you need a solid core infrastructure. Having an HCI in place ensures you get the speed, security and scalability needed to let you innovate while running your existing applications seamlessly. It allows you to connect to a hybrid cloud environment so that you can scale out to the public cloud or scale back as needed.

Need To Upgrade The Existing Infrastructure

One thing is clear that IT’s role in traditional enterprises is no longer about keeping the lights on in the data centre. IT now has to manage a complete digital ecosystem. It’s no longer about automating business processes, but to remove irrelevant ones and re-define and optimise others for both internal and external use.

It’s no longer about implementing hardware and applications but defining a digital journey using emerging technologies. Now it is not just about measuring the RoI from equipment and being measured for application uptime, but about creating and measuring KPIs that ensure consumer delight.

Juts implementing a particular business application standalone will not suffice rather it should be more about building an eco-system of connected products.

The core IT infrastructure has to be ready to enable all this. It needs to be simple and agile to set up so that you can quickly have the resources when required. It should be responsive and scalable so that it takes care of your future needs while ensuring performance for existing ones.

The IT infrastructure should be scalable enough to deliver the desired performance while being cost-effective at the same time. It should be flexible enough so that you can mould it as per your business needs and it should be robust and secure to ensure minimal downtime.

Author: Anil Chopra

IT

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