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The business benefits of hyperconvergence

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Kathy Gibson reports from Dell EMC Channel Update in Sandton – The IT world is at an inflexion point as the environment we have worked in for the last 15 years is changing.

In fact, the companies that are using their IT differently are the ones that are making the headlines as disrupters, says Darrin Murray, modern infrastructure sales specialist.

“That’s because they don’t have the challenge of legacy IT,” he says.

But traditional companies have massive investments in their legacy systems, and s an It industry we have to help them to balance what they have with the new world of IT.

The biggest challenges for IT relate to the cloud-native application world, where there are billions of users, millions of new applications, a need for delivery ad availability anywhere and any time. End users want freedom, but IT still has to maintain control.

“So how can we build an IT infrastructure that responds to these demands?” Murray asks.

To meet the challenge, IT is having to rise to the occasion, becoming the differentiator for the business.

Murray point out that some of the pressure IT is now facing include:

* On demand access to applications;

* Access anywhere, any time, from any device with standardised user experience;

* Programmable and automated infrastructure;

* Cost transparency across private and public cloud;

* Cost transparency;

* Performance and scale;

* Governance, risk and compliance;

* Seamless integrated support;

* Quicker time to market; and

* Minimise costs.

Hyperconvergence helps IT to abstract the application, pool resources and automate services. “It’s about delivering IT as a service – that’s how we think IT is going to be able to deliver on their promise,” Murray says.

Dell EMC is currently the top vendor in most data centre technology areas: servers, storage, networking and more – so it’s able to help companies change their IT infrastructures.

Importantly, the company can help customers with software-defined blueprint solutions. “Resellers can take these solutions to your customers in the knowledge that they are tried and tested,” Murray says.

For instance, companies or resellers are building their own solutions, Dell Ready Nodes are pre-configured, tried and tested, and certified for a particular environment.

Coupled with this, Dell EMC offer Node Lifecycle Management to ensure that any patches or updates run smoothly and without interruption.

Ready Nodes include those for virtualisation, flash storage, on-premise, hybrid cloud and more.

“The benefit of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is that you can mix and match Nodes as you need,” Murray says.

Ready-configured solutions include for VMware’s vSAN and Microsoft’s Azure.

“There are also pre-built solutions,” says Murray. “They land at your door and you switch them on. Customers want to buy solutions they can plug in and go.”

Dell EMC ships and supports these solutions as an appliance that includes software, licensing and lifecycle management. These solutions can be installed and ready to run in as little as 35 minutes.

These fully-configured XC Xpress clusters start at a price as low as R330 000.00. They have been created for SME customers with up to 250 virtual machines and are ideal for Microsoft environments, including Azure Backup Service.

Support is critical in the new world of hyperconverged infrastructure, and resellers might not have the skills ready to hand. Dell EMC is available to help with consulting, deployment and managed services.

“These devices all ship with ProSupport and ProDeploy packages,” Murray adds.

Dell EMC will soon introduce different consumption models in South Africa. “This is designed to help customers who might want to consume systems differently. Customers don’t have the money to do massive upfront capex investments. So we will put together solutions that make financial sense depending on the consumption model that customers want.”

To help determine what customers need to do, Dell EMC has introduced a modern infrastructure assessment service that looks at data from VMware, storage, applications and the network.

This helps to determine where the customer is as regards IT maturity and the solution can then be determine – where it be hyperconverged infrastructure, a converged environment or a traditional tree-tier architecture.

“The great news is that Dell EMC is currently funding these assessments – and resellers will able to deliver them to add value to their customers.”