Hyperconverged Infrastructure: The Data Center Optimization Solution Government Agencies Can No Longer Ignore
Once upon a time, managing applications was a fairly straight forward process. In that simpler world, IT staff delivered applications utilizing dedicated file servers consisting of compute, memory and storage. This nostalgic data center environment was easy to manage and maintain. As time went on, however, the application infrastructure became virtualized, storage shared, and the explosive growth of application data required much needed protection (backup and replication).
While these changes provided increased IT asset utilization, they also introduced massive complexity within data center infrastructure. This complexity is the result of having to procure, deploy, configure, patch, maintain, and upgrade multiple devices from a variety of infrastructure vendors. This complexity drove significant dissatisfaction with IT’s inability to be agile, cost effective, and meet the needs of the enterprise. The result is applications taking weeks or even months to deploy due to the inability for the underlying infrastructure to provision quickly in a cost effective manner.
With the emergence of cloud, agencies were able to experience the simplification of infrastructure provisioning. This powerful model delivered agility and responsiveness to the needs of an agency at a cost effective, yet unpredictable, price. However, most agencies would agree that not all workloads and/or data is appropriate for the cloud. Data locality, data portability, unpredictable costs, and the expense of moving data out of a cloud vendor once it is in are all real concerns.
With the emergence of hyperconvergence technology, agencies can now realize the same agility and cost effectiveness as the cloud, but achieve it within their own data centers. Today’s hyperconvergence technology offers agencies the ability to own and manage an on-premise alternative to the public cloud. Essentially, hyperconvergence delivers the same operational benefits (provisioning virtual machines in minutes), the same economic model (<50% the cost of legacy infrastructure), and the same technology (software defined) as the public cloud providers.
By transitioning applications from legacy data center infrastructure to hyperconvergence, agencies consolidate their IT infrastructure into single repeatable x86 building blocks or nodes (much like a Google or Amazon data center). This allows for a simplified IT platform that provisions virtual machines (VMs) in mere minutes. It also provides agencies with the same simplified operating model it would get with the cloud, but with the level of control and security on-premise data centers deliver.
From a security standpoint, hyperconverged infrastructure is a smart investment for agencies to make. A hyperconverged architecture significantly reduces the attack surface of your data center stack. You are no longer applying patches across a wide variety of devices from multiple vendors. Furthermore, you maintain control of your data on-premise in your data center. Conversely, when an agency puts data into the cloud, they give up the ability to pinpoint exactly where their data is from day-to-day.
Customer outcomes speak for themselves. In a recent study conducted by TechValidate of 105 SimpliVity customers, enterprises achieved significant cost savings and operational efficiencies. By transitioning to a hyperconverged platform, agencies are able to benefit from these same results. These customer outcomes include:
- Storage Efficiency: Customers in the study averaged a 40:1 reduction of their storage, with 33% of the enterprises achieving greater than a 100:1 reduction.
- Device (Footprint) Reduction: 50% of SimpliVity’s customers were able to achieve a 7:1 reduction of legacy data center devices. That is a 70% savings of rack and floor space.
- Simplified Operations: 75% of customers surveyed reduced the number of management interfaces by 4:1.
- Performance: Half of those surveyed achieved >50% application performance improvements, with a full 89% achieving >25% performance improvement.
Another compelling reason to make the move is not just efficient and secure technology, but a major return on investment. Agencies will be able to consolidate at a rapid pace and save significant acquisition and maintenance funding by eliminating legacy data center infrastructure from multiple manufacturers. In one example, a SimpliVity global financial customer was able to leverage SimpliVity hyperconvergence to consolidate 6 global data centers down to 3 and eliminate $100M of infrastructure and operations cost over 5 years.
The federal government is currently working to save IT costs through the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) in an attempt to do more with less. Unfortunately, federal IT budgets are being consumed by maintaining legacy infrastructure. According to former United States CIO Tony Scott, “76 percent of the $88 billion federal IT budget is spent on operations and maintenance of older systems, while only 24 percent is spent on development, modernization and enhancement (DME) of technology systems.”
Most agencies are looking to the cloud to address this problem, but cloud can only solve part of the issue. It is imperative that federal CIOs recognize that while cloud is a valuable IT asset, on-premise data centers will still remain in some form and will continue to eat up a great deal of an agency’s IT budget.
In fact, many of the federal government’s remaining on-premise data centers rely on legacy IT, which is not only extremely costly but also unreliable and inefficient in driving missions. If agencies moved their on-premise systems to hyperconverged infrastructure, they could garner up to 70 percent savings.
Think of it this way: seven physical data centers could be consolidated to just one. Said another way, 35 racks of legacy equipment could be consolidated into 5 racks of hyperconverged nodes. The economic and operational gains offered by hyperconvergence cannot be ignored any longer. We currently live in a world where hybrid will be the norm. Federal agencies will find by having workloads both offsite in the cloud and on-premise, they are best able to tailor their IT systems to meet their individual needs, all the while, cutting costs and increasing agility.
With hyperconverged solutions such as HPE’s SimpliVity, agencies can free up costs, optimize data centers and most importantly better meet their missions, as well as government’s as a whole. By investing in hyperconverged infrastructure, agencies will not only run more efficiently, but also free up resources that would typically go toward maintenance of outdated, inefficient, and costly legacy systems.
This disruptive technology and operating model should be a call to action for all agency CIO’s to explore. The timing is ripe because hyperconvergence allows agencies to achieve the goals of DCOI. The outcomes delivered by hyperconvergence speak for themselves and are simply too compelling to ignore.
Learn more about how hyperconverged infrastructure can benefit your agency via HPE’s SimpliVity.