HCI: What It Is (and Is Not)
The first thing to understand about HCI is that it is not a technology. Rather, HCI is an approach to data center management that seeks to minimize complexity and compatibility issues among servers, storage systems and network devices while also reducing cabling costs, power consumption and the overall footprint.
In a nutshell, HCI is about breaking down technology silos and tying infrastructure systems together through virtualization technologies. In many ways, HCI enables companies to act as their own personal Amazon Web Services, delivering applications and compute power across the enterprise.
According to 451 Research’s “Voice of the Enterprise: Servers and Converged Infrastructure” study, refresh projects became a big driver of enterprise investments in servers and converged infrastructure systems in 2016. Additionally, 60% of respondents said they plan to increase spending on servers this year and 79% said they plan to spend more on converged infrastructure.
Introducing Cisco HyperFlex
Earlier this year, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins announced Cisco’s foray into the hyperconverged market through two components: HyperFlex, a hyperconverged server/storage solution based on Cisco’s UCS (Unified Computing System) servers and Springpath’s hyperconverged technology. This move also includes an expansion of Cisco’s data center switching portfolio with the new Nexus 9200 top-of-rack switch, a product that boasts 25/50/100 GbE connectivity and gives Cisco a 6- to 9-month head start on its competition, said Robbins, while addressing partners at the annual Cisco Partner Summit.
Cisco HyperFlex is powered by the next-generation Cisco HX Data Platform, which delivers simplified data management, continuous data optimization, dynamic data distribution and self-healing resiliency. Cisco HyperFlex Systems are designed to support virtualized (VMware vSphere), containerized and bare-metal environments, and they offer independent scaling (i.e., pay as you grow) of compute, storage performance and storage capacity. Plus, they offer a subscription-based software model and uniform management of computing, networking and storage.
Prepare your Team to Sell HyperFlex
It’s imperative that solution providers have technical teams and sales teams fully trained before attempting to sell and implement HCIs. At Ingram Micro, we have a dedicated storage and converged architecture (CA) team to assist partners with these needs, including several CA experts who can help with sales enablement and technical requirements. Additionally, Ingram Micro’s Trust X Alliance partners can learn more about Cisco HyperFlex at upcoming chapter meetings.