Hyperconverged solutions change historical TCO calculations in IT decision-making
"It is mind-blowing to see how quickly Africa, and in particular southern Africa, has adopted hyperconvergence technology," says Anton Jacobsz, managing director of value added distributor, Networks Unlimited. "With customers across the continent, we are witnessing a wide range of business critical issues being solved."
Networks Unlimited distributes hyperconverged technology from SimpliVity throughout more than 20 African countries and says that some of its clients are deploying this technology in a virtual desktop infrastructure environment, whilst others are using it to perform consolidation, backup and disaster requirements for data centres, or even utilising it for a specific application.
Market research by TechValidate in 2016 shows the typical drivers prompting organisations to examine hyperconverged infrastructure – by and large as an alternative to incumbent technology silos – and the ranking of drivers for SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure adoption.
Christo Briedenhann, regional director of South Africa and Africa at SimpliVity continues: "Overall, a catalyst event, such as a storage capacity purchase or a tech refresh cycle, is the number one driver according to the research, followed by a data centre consolidation or migration event. At 13%, a top catalyst is improving data protection, mainly due to the built-in data protection in SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure contributing to tremendous improvements in recovery objectives."
Briedenhann explains that SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure provides a scalable, modular, 2U building block of x86 resources that offers all the functionality of traditional IT infrastructure – in one device. It assimilates storage, compute, hypervisor, real-time deduplication, compression and optimisation into a single appliance, along with comprehensive data management, data protection, and disaster recovery capabilities.
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Designed to work with any hypervisor or industry-standard x86 server platform, the SimpliVity solution provides a single, shared resource pool across the entire IT stack, eliminating point products and "siloed" IT architectures. The solution is distinguished from other hyperconverged products by three attributes: accelerated data efficiency, built-in data protection and global unified management.
Inline deduplication, compression and optimisation are applied to all data at inception, reducing resource consumption (storage and CPU) while increasing application performance. SimpliVity systems include native data protection functionality, while eliminating the need for special-purpose backup and recovery hardware or software. VM- centric management enables system administrators to manage all resources and workloads centrally, using familiar interfaces such as VMware vCenter.
"The above technology changes the typical total cost of ownership (TCO) costs by simplifying the way an entire data centre runs," Briedenhann points out. "It will reduce the different tasks that are needed in a typical data centre and by doing so, it will lower the associated manpower costing. It will also reduce the footprint in the data centre by decreasing the number of appliances that are typically required. At the end it will lower both your capex and opex."
IT analyst firm, The Evaluator Group, recently conducted a validity test based on a TCO model, and compared running IT applications on-premises with a hyperconverged solution from SimpliVity and a comparable cloud service from Amazon Web Services (AWS). "What they have found," says Briedenhann, "is due to SimpliVity's comprehensive, low-cost hardware architectures and advanced efficiency and management features, hyperconverged infrastructure can cost significantly less than a comparable cloud solution. By simplifying the physical infrastructure, using non-proprietary hardware and reducing or eliminating many of the tasks typically associated with implementing hardware and software they lower total costs, both capex and opex."
Worldwide, SimpliVity saw a steady increase in million dollar deals and traction with Fortune 500 and Global 2000 enterprises. The average deal size for OmniStack for Cisco UCS Servers and Lenovo System x grew by 43% quarter over quarter and momentum continues to build. An April 2016 IDC White Paper sponsored by SimpliVity, highlighted why some enterprise customers are rapidly switching to SimpliVity, the company's hyperconverged infrastructure increases operational efficiency, freeing enterprise IT resources to focus on business innovation. In fact, the IDC study revealed that customers increased the time spent on innovation and new projects from 16% to 29%, the equivalent of an 81% increase. As the author of the paper, Eric Sheppard, research director, IDC states: "It is clear that the times have changed. IT teams must be more agile and must reduce the amount of operational resources needed to run a data centre and support their business's digital transformation.
"IDC believes that hyperconverged technology can help in just this way. By eliminating the need for separate silos for compute, networks, and storage, and the dedicated staff that goes with those silos, hyperconverged infrastructure can improve efficiency and reduce costs in the data centre, and help create more operationally efficient IT staff."