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Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) brings a robust set of features to organisations looking to lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), makes support and troubleshooting easier, and allows for an on-demand scale of resources.

In the past few weeks, it has become more critical than ever to ensure business continuity plans are in place or being considered. The playing field has shifted for all businesses; up to thousands of office spaces have been relocated to a work-from-home situation for many.

And it is not about quantity, the quality of experience matters greatly. Preliminary findings from Gartner’s recent webinar snap poll reveal that 54 per cent of HR leaders across APAC, Singapore included, indicated that the biggest obstacle to effective remote working and performance lies in poor technology and/or work-from-home infrastructure.

During these unprecedented times, companies must understand how to maximise their cloud investment to their advantage, so that users can access applications and data with any device at any time.

For many businesses, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) offers a clear path towards delivering that optimisation, extending the life of corporate infrastructure investments and improving performance without completely changing the underlying architecture.

How then can business leaders best navigate these uncertain times with HCI? Here are three takeaways for them.

Accuracy In Capacity Planning

While ensuring stability, continuity and survival, organisations need to understand and mitigate potential performance or capacity limits. 

Capacity planning is key to architecting an HCI deployment that will give businesses the bandwidth they need now while providing a buffer. 

HCI vendors may provide on-demand scaling capabilities to offer this flexibility by adding a new block or unit to a current rack configuration.

It is essential to remember that while HCI allows businesses to scale on demand, it cannot scale by individual component need – the new block or unit will contain compute, storage and memory. 

Underestimating capacity needs results in CIOs needing to purchase a new block or unit when capacity is near 100 per cent, negatively affecting bottom-line ROI.

The good news is that businesses can scale by adding a new node, although this is not a fix that can be added overnight. It is therefore important for CIOs to understand how long it will take to request a new scaling up deployment to accurately plan for future needs.

Total Cost Of Ownership Savings

With a rapidly changing situation, organisations are confronted with a sudden large-scale increase in remote working, as well as the urgent demand to ensure data availability across clouds. 

To sustain operations with minimal disruptions, decision-makers may look to implement cloud-based end-user computing (EUC), virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and other high-performance solutions, and if these are being considered it is integral to have the right HCI in place too.

However, this can result in significant sticker shock when pricing and procuring the new HCI deployment. Letting upfront CAPEX (capital expenditures) shy organisations away from HCI will result in them missing out on the cost savings that HCI brings to the total cost of ownership (TCO). 

The initial outlay might seem high, but over time, the cost of not having to repeatedly refresh hardware on desktop machines and laptops lead to far greater savings.


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The Business Potential Of Adopting Modern The Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

HCI brings a robust set of features to organisations looking to lower TCO, makes support and troubleshooting easier, and allows for an on-demand scale of resources.

Beyond that, the hyper-converged market is entering a new phase of maturity. HCI solutions are now increasingly targeting mission-critical workloads, are larger in scale, and are used by a wide range of companies for business-critical applications such as ERM, CRM, supply chain management, financial management, payroll/accounting.

Additionally, the adoption of HCI effectively kills the ‘siloed teams’ approach to IT management. Each administrator will be adept at all aspects of the infrastructure, and it will all be managed from a single source of truth. This will help businesses to keep track of application performance and availability where their apps and data reside.

It is a matter of time where organisations need to prepare for business continuity in the event of any business disruptions. With the increasing adoption of HCI, it brings the incredible potential to aid and support businesses. Hence it is important to understand how to harness the technology.

However, it is crucial for business leaders to be aware of key considerations – from accurate capacity planning to seeing the TCO big picture. With a better understanding of the full capabilities of HCI, businesses can attain efficiency in workflows and still continue to empower its workforce.

Article by Matt Hurford, VP, APAC Solutions Engineering, NetApp

Image: Global Access Point / Public domain


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