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Hyperconvergence adds IT efficiency

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Kathy Gibson reports from IDC Cloud and Data Centre Roadshow in Rosebank – IT is rapidly becoming the enabler for business in the age of digital transformation, and a wealth of technologies are coming to the fore that make these goals a reality.

Christo Briedenhann, regional director: South Africa and Africa at Simplivity, explains that hyperconvergence is one of the trends that is helping to make CIOs’ lives easier.

CIOs are currently looking at how to balance their internal IT infrastructure, with their cost and management challenges, against newer cloud-based offerings.

While storage and servers have become more efficient over the years, with storage area networks and virtualisation, there are still issues relating to the actual data, Briedenhann says..

Data gateways and appliances have been designed to compress data before transferring it to remote data centres or into the cloud, he points out.

This leads to the creation of what he calls the accidental data centre, where racks of storage spawn a need for new hardware, software and management simply to manage the data.

But as data grows, data centres are going to have to continue to add more hardware, software and management.

This is where hyperconvergence comes in, Briedenhann says. Convergence has already seen servers and storage become consolidated.

“But the question is, is it possible to deliver all enterprise capabilities in one X86 server?

“Our vision at Simplivity is this: why should a business be concerned about what’s happening underneath the hypervisor?”

Organisations should be concerned with their service delivery, customer experience or business needs, he adds.

“As IT people we get so concerned about the technology tack, we forget that we are here to run applications efficiently, ensure that the performance is good, that the management control is good, and to cut the cost of the business.”

In future, Briedenhann says companies need the best of both worlds: with enterprise capabilities with cloud economics – essentially all enterprise capabilities on one X86 platform.

He proposes an X86 server with a PCI card that can dedupe, compress and optimise data the first time it sees it – and then keep it deduped, compressed and optimised for its entire lifetime.

“If I can give you 1:40 compression ratio, it means you don’t need racks and racks of storage. Because the reason you need those racks is because you are saving the same data over and over again. But if it’s deduped, compressed and optimised, you don’t need to do it again.

“And, if you want to move this data into the cloud, you just move this small format of data instead of moving the same data over and over again.”

Applications running in this environment can also be optimised, Briedenhann says. Through its close relationship with VMware, applications can run on the Simplivity server with no additional management required.