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Building Scalable Clouds

Hyperconverged technology is currently receiving a lot of hype raising in the minds of some as to whether the hype is justified?

When you drill down and look at truly hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), it’s not the technology per se that is driving interest – it’s the fact that scalable and flexible clouds are underpinned by HCI that makes the technology so hot. For once, building a cloud within an enterprise datacentre seems possible.

Cloud really is a journey and HCI is fast becoming part of the learning curve on that journey. Most CIOs and business leaders are looking to adopt a cloud first strategy, but what exactly do they mean by that? My own take is as follows:

  • Bringing highest levels of automation to every day operations, whether workloads run within the datacentre or the public cloud

  • Evaluating how you use public cloud as a tool to supplement your existing IT.

  • How you can make transition of workloads and data across different datacenters and clouds seamless

More than this, cloud first doesn’t just mean finding a way to use cloud for IT, it reflects a shift to using cloud based IT to actually drive business forward.

Cloud first is critical because business today is unpredictable. New products or services are now developed in days rather than years and the resources that make that possible need to be available and infinitely scalable – without cloud based infrastructure, most businesses simply could not operate at the pace that today’s consumers demand.

Why then is there a need to build scalable clouds when public cloud already exists and can be used without commitment? There are a few reasons why turning to public cloud doesn’t always answer every use case that people have. Performance, cost, bandwidth, data sovereignty and security all come into play. Renting infrastructure from a public cloud makes sense for a shorter period of time, but over extended periods of time, it becomes cost prohibitive.

Many organisations want the flexibility and scalability of public cloud. They also like the fact that management and maintenance are largely taken care of by the cloud provider.

Building a scalable cloud from scratch, perhaps using open source tools like OpenStack is possible, but few companies have the skills and experience to do so. At the same time, the management of a self-built open source based cloud is likely to increase over “standard IT”, so in many ways is self-defeating.

This is where hyperconverged infrastructure has an important role to play. Public cloud is built on the same concept of HCI. However, companies like Nutanix have delivered the building blocks of cloud in a format that reduces complexity and reduces management overhead.

The beauty of the solution from Nutanix is that you are given a single pane of management all the way from applications down to the underlying infrastructure.  Servers, virtualization, networking are all converged to operate as a unified piece of infrastructure. With self-service driven app-deployment and management, all the benefits of public cloud will be instantly available within the datacentre.

The result is a flexible solution that can scale as easily as a public cloud by simply adding node after node. Technology from Nutanix genuinely removes any challenge to building a scalable cloud. At the same time you control data sovereignty, remove bandwidth limitations and have far more direct control over application performance. Finally, you can scale to the public cloud whenever there is a need.

For those that want simplicity and cloud scalability from within their own datacentre, HCI is an underpinning that makes it easy. Click here for more information. 

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