Do you know how much technical debt you currently have in your data center or how to reduce it? Technical debt is like real debt.in that it limits your abilities and choices and it just grows if we are not intentional about reducing it. It has been said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, but simplicity also has other benefits such as reducing technical debt. So how can Cisco Hyperflex help?
Some background. The storage landscape is changing fast due to less expensive flash, 3d flash, NVMe, Intel’s 3D Xpoint, etc. With these changes, we now have a great opportunity to get more iops and lower latency in storage solutions via simple hybrid systems. That performance was previously only possible via complex storage arrays. Simplifying storage and its management will not only have an immediate impact on CAPEX and OPEX, but it will reduce our technical debt.
In my multiple decades in this industry, (Yes, I am officially old now, just ask my kids), I have seen many changes, some great and some challenging. I am old enough to recall the good old days when storage was simple. In fact one of the major storage vendors had “Simple” as a key tag line about its product. “Brownie points” if you can name the vendor. That tag line is long since gone. Then came storage that only the vendor could install for you, and also storage so complex, the IT generalist could no longer manage it. But don't worry, there are hundreds of docs and lots of thousand page manuals if you have time to read them to help you manage your complex storage array. Just don't miss page 798 paragraph 2, or you might have an outage.
One of the challenges with high levels of complexity is that is slows IT down not only now, but in the future. Every complex task piles on as technical debt that we eventually have to pay for with time & money. We might have a great dedicated storage admin managing our storage, so all is well. Oh but alas, if he is great, he will be promoted ( or stolen) , and we will have to train or hire someone new. How long will that take? Or worse, if he is not great, we will find out the hard way. And never ever let him take a vacation because no one else knows how to fix it if (when) it breaks.
We all have seen the many pains of accrued technical debt in both long turn around times and outages, but what should we do about it? What if there was a high performance storage that was so simple that the IT generalist could install it in about 1 hour or 2 instead of weeks? What if there was virtually no training so any VMware admin can manage their own storage? What if that storage allowed you to:
- Scale compute and storage independently by adding more compute without disk?
- Easily expand capacity by just adding a new node with a wizard in about 30 minutes?
- Configured the networking for you to eliminate errors and optimize performance?
- Provided the features that the complex products offered such as SSD type performance, cloning, dedup, compression, snapshots and VMware plugin integration?
- Allowed you to connect your existing SAN and NAS storage in order to make it seamless to migrate your VM’s and not lose your existing investment?
You guessed it. It does exist in the form of Cisco Hyperconverged Infrastructure aka HyperFlex 1.8.1c. Gartner is predicting tremendous growth in hyperconverged integrated system (HCIS) architectures, and as a former engineer, storage & datacenter admin, I can see why. Hyperconverged does what my dedicated complex storage system does without all the complexity, aka technical debt. With Cisco HyperFlex, now there is a unified compute, storage and networking solution that provides simplified high-performance.
There are a lot of great new features in 1.8 HyperFlex, but I really love how it simplifies storage & frees up my time. When we simplify day to day operations, and reduce technical debt and we allow our administrators to not only get tasks done much faster but once again become proactive vs re-active. (and maybe, just maybe, go home and see their families once in a while) . Simplify, Simplify Simplify
For more information please check out the new Cisco Validated Design for 1.8.1c and the HX web site.