11/08/2016
Will Wilkinson

So, how can 'Cloud' add value to your organisation? This is a commonly asked question, and one that a lot of established businesses struggle to answer. The reality is there is no one answer and no one-size-fits-all solution. But if you’ve already analysed your business and come to the conclusion that Cloud is the way forward, adding Hyper-converged to the mix, means on-boarding cloud services doesn't have to be a long-winded, complex or costly.  In this blog, I'm going to look at some of key benefits of hyper-converged.  By Will Wilkinson, Infrastructure Architect, OCSL

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Hyper-converged & Cloud: The Benefits

New to Hyper-Converged? , Watch our video whiteboard for a simple introduction to Hyper-converged.

1. Faster Deployment

Imagine if you could have an Azure Cloud in your DC, set up in a matter of hours? There are many benefits to Hyper-converged but deploying hyper-converged appliances, coupled with cloud services from the likes of Microsoft Azure, can shorten time to value significantly. Hyper-converged appliances are tightly integrated and pre-configured and most come with a simple deployment wizard to get you started. And with Cloud services integrated into the sign-up process from some vendors, it's completely feasible to be using hybrid cloud services within a few hours of delivery.

2. Avoiding Shadow IT with Hyper-converged & Cloud

Are your developers crying out for simple IaaS/PaaS but you’re not sure about how to govern Public Cloud services? Many organisations are in the same boat. And, the stark reality is that teams such as DevOps will often find their own way there. Different lines of business taking Public Cloud services under their own steam, is simply not sustainable. It's insecure, it's not governed and costs can easily spiral out of control. There are a number of different ways to tackle this. One being the deployment of hyper-converged appliances coupled with hybrid cloud services. Adopting this approach offers your end-users exactly what they want; fluid resources, provided quickly and with no questions asked (or so they think.)

In reality, this gives the business back control. You are able to govern what data goes where, who has access to what and how Cloud services are accessed. This is coupled with the ability to track usage, monetise resources and show a return on investment to the business - yep, that's the way Hybrid Cloud should work!

3. Make Your Remote and Branch Offices Enterprise-Ready

Do you struggle to deploy simple and quick, Enterprise-ready infrastructure in remote and branch offices? The challenges of deploying an Enterprise-ready infrastructure remotely is invariably two-fold. Often there is no (or limited) skilled resources at those sites to deploy, run and manage the environment. Secondly, even if you have the skills, there tends to be a lack of facilities to house the infrastructure.

Hyper-converged appliances enable businesses to deploy Enterprise-ready infrastructure simply, quickly and without the need for skilled IT staff. Deployment via a wizard and management via modern and intuitive graphical interface empowers businesses to expand and grow in a way that has never previously been possible.

In addition, on-boarding Cloud services through integration with the hyper-converged appliance's own interface, to complement and enhance on-premises infrastructure, allows businesses to maintain control and governance over what and how much of a Cloud service is being consumed.

4. Using Hyper-converged to grow linearly and be Cloud-ready.

For many organisations, especially start-ups and small to medium sized organisations starting with a blade enclosure , a monolithic storage array (or two) and multiple networksmasses of complex hardware and software infrastructure just isn't a viable approach. This is where hyper-converged appliances can really come into their own. The pre-defined, fully integrated compute, storage and networking infrastructures-in-a-box, allows organisations to start small, deploy easily, grow linearly and be Cloud-ready. This results in a faster time to value and reduced operating costs, which in turn can enable them to gain competitive advantage.

5. Hyper-converged & Cloud: One Infrastructure, Two Delivery Models

Pairing hyper-converged appliances and Cloud services from the likes of Microsoft Azure can mean one infrastructure, with two delivery models - Private Cloud or Public Cloud i.e. a hybrid. You get all the benefits of both worlds but with the control and governance over what and how much of a Cloud service is being consumed. If taking a service from the Public Cloud is not viable, because of cost or security for instance, then simply deploy the service using on-premises resources with the appropriate cost and security models.  The important thing here though, is that your end users are consuming the service in the same manner and simply do not care where it is running physically - that's true Hybrid Cloud.

6. Improve Development Cycles & Get to Market Quicker

Wouldn't be great if you could offer your business a “VM vending machine”? Imagine if your team of developers had the ability to grow/ shrink and tear down fluid resources themselves, whilst you were still able to fully control costs. Enter hyper-converged! Pairing hyper-converged technologies with the more fluid infrastructure of Public Cloud services offers your organisation improved development cycles, reduced management overheads and potentially you might even beat your rival dev team to the 'app store'!

7. Drive Work Place Productivity with a Simple to Deploy VDi Infrastructure

The world is truly 24/7 and if you're organisation isn’t, then you're competitors are stealing a march! With the advent of Hyper-converged, your organisation can scale and flex its ability to serve its workforce much more fluidly and at a cost that doesn't prohibit bringing on board the best talent in the market. Enabling the workforce technically has many faces: this could be virtual desktops (VDi), enabling users to use their own devices (BYOD) or simply making smarter use of the Cloud. All help to drive up workplace productivity.

How OCSL can help with Hyper-converged

There are many start-ups and niche players in the crowded Hyper-converged market place. It’s therefore, key to avoid dealing with suppliers more focused on selling products, than understanding your business drivers. Or worse still, engaging a supplier with an immature support offering that could leave you stranded.

OCSL can help mitigate those risks, and more. We can provide a single appliance, a single established vendor (where it makes sense), mature and proven solutions, fast deployment and a platform for future growth and development.

Here at OCSL we work with our Partners and our customers to identify the technology of today and of tomorrow that will drive the biggest results for their business.

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