EMC and VMware have combined forces to take converged and hyper-converged infrastructure to the next level. As a result of their exclusive partnership they launched the VCE VxRail hyper-converged appliance, delivering virtualization, compute, storage, networking and data protection in an agile, scalable, easy to manage 2U, 4-Node, SDDC Building Block. So let’s have a closer look at some of the highlights. And before getting into the specifics of the VxRail SDDC Building Block I’d like to emphasize the big picture with the 5 accelerators that will lead to a quantum leap in your data center.
5 ACCELERATORS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
#1 Do it yourself = waste of time
Don’t waste your time putting everything together on your own. Use a system that combines storage, network and compute that this engineered as one, manufactured as one, managed as one, and supported as one.
#2 Converged Platform = key differentiator
Do more than “just” infrastructure. Build a Converged Platform that delivers
- Solutions stacks for
- Enterprise applications (Enterprise Hybrid Cloud)
- Applications born in the cloud (Native Hybrid Cloud) and
- Big Data (Business Data Lake)
- Cooperative operation models (On-premise, Managed, Public)
- Blocks, Racks, Appliances
- Plug-in capabilities to management standards
#3 Hyper-converged = software-defined from the beginning
Use hyper-converged system designs. Because CPU and storage are getting more dense, and because we now have fast networks to connect them all, we now have the ability to have software-defined infrastructure.
#4 Plug-in Appliance = Plug-in to existing standards
Customers have choices to realize the hyper-converged economics of a solution that’s software only.
Do It Yourself (DYI): Customers can buy Hyper-Converged Software from VMware that includes vSphere and VSAN, go buy servers and other hardware, and deploy themselves. In this DIY approach, they will have to take care of everything – hardware compatibility and qualification, deployment, firmware updates, etc. – and then do a lot of work to keep it all alive.
Standalone Appliance: Customers can do what many of them have been doing in the last three years, which is buy a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance which is validated and pre-integrated. Albeit simple, it’s still different and customers have to manage their complete environment – new applications, disaster recovery, management, etc. They need to deploy appliances, then deploy VMware from end-to-end, and when all is said and done they are supported from two different places. In this approach, there are multiple standards.
Plug-in Appliance: Or you can do what we’re about to offer. You can have a plug-in appliance that leverages the VMware stack end to end – fully integrated with Virtual SAN and vSphere. It’s one SW stack that’s designed and built together with the HW. Customers will get same economics they are looking for from hyper-converged but they’re basically not going to have anything new. They are going to have a fully automated solution that takes away the complexity of deploying VMware because it’s automatic. And best yet, to manage it you go to vCenter – you use the tools you have, you use the reporting you have, you use the skills that you have. You extend what you already know and what is the de facto standard in your shop, backed by a single point of support. By plugging in to existing standards, it really is the best of both worlds – hyper-converged economics without the tradeoffs.
#5 Hyper-converged clusters = Evergreen -> No more migrations/downtimes due to tech refreshes
Lots of costs and business downtimes are caused by tech refreshes for servers, network components and storage arrays. VxRail will be eliminating the need for a forklift upgrade from now on because the hyper-converged clusters are evergreen. If you have a cluster of appliances and you need to add one more – you simply add it to the cluster within 5 minutes in an automated manner. Vmotion will move the workload to the new appliance. And then remove the older appliance, if necessary. All of this is done non-distruptively – providing a TCO and operational promise to the business.
The figure below shows the configuration options as announced in the VxRail launch. The appliances come as 2U, 4-Node, SDDC Building Blocks and you can have up to 16 in a rack. Please see here for more.
INTEGRATED EASE OF MANAGEMENT
VxRail users will get a lot more information about their appliance than with the native tools through the seamless integration and co-development of the user interface between EMC and VMware.
With VxRail Manager you will experience deeper hardware awareness with up-to-the-minute holistiic notifications about the state of applications, VMs, and appliance leveraging VMware Log Insight capturing events. Your costs for maintenance and upgrades will be reduces via patch software and update notifications that can be automatically installed without interruption or downtime. Furthermore VxRail Manager offers one-click access to EMC support and online chat from within the appliance. Also, conveniently access electronic services, such as the EMC knowledge base articles, access to the VxRail Community for online and real-time information and VxRail best practices from customers and partners.
With VCE VISION VxRail Appliances are also discoverable by VCE VISION Intelligent Operations Software. VCE Vision 3.3.0 will be able to remotely collect and report hardware and software configuration from VxRail appliances at launch. Integration will go deeper in the second half of 2016 with workload and system health and stabilization and optimization. VCE will recognize status alerts and health statistics for availability, performance and capacity of VxRail appliances.
This is why Converged Infrastructure matters. Stay tuned for more posts about how to use CI in SAP environments.