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Scaling Compute and Storage with HyperFlex

- July 25, 2017 - 1 Comment

Everyone knows the story by now. We have siloed groups of people working on various parts of our data center infrastructures. There’s a lot of red-tape, a lot of disparate ideas on who should do what and when they should do it. That’s why public cloud is so appealing to people in our organizations who just want to deploy applications. It’s hard to blame them, applications are the reason IT teams are relevant. They are the bread and butter of our businesses. So, what if we could change the way we deployed apps? What if we could scale our on-premises infrastructure, just like we can in the public cloud, but retain better costs, ROIs, and security? With Cisco HyperFlex, we can.

 

Cloud-Like On-Premises Infrastructure

We’re actually able to deploy most HyperFlex clusters in around a half hour. We need only fill in a few questions from the deployment GUI, things like naming conventions and IP addresses, and from there service profiles with VLAN information, IP information, and everything needed will be automatically assigned within the cluster. Now we can deploy VMs like we would in any virtualized environment, using things like thin provisioning to add to storage savings if desired.

If we want to add more nodes to our clusters, it becomes even easier. We can literally click a button, as shown in the accompanying video demo.

Flexibility in Scale

While I’ve seen some unique benefits to HyperFlex, one that stands out is the flexibility in which we can scale resources. One complaint I’ve often heard from customers considering HCI is that when they run out of one particular resource like storage they need to buy a whole new node to add to the cluster, which adds to their compute and networking resources as well…even if it’s not necessary. Now this wouldn’t be a big deal, but there’s an actual cost associated with these nodes and they’re not necessarily inexpensive. Because the HX Data Platform (HXDP) was built from the ground up and because we’re working with an already converged networking and compute system like UCS, we can be a lot more flexible with HyperFlex.

For example, if we want to add more flash we could simply add more SSDs to a node. We can do the same with memory. Now if we need to add a lot of compute resources, we can actually utilize a UCS server we already have, install a hypervisor, an SCVM, and the IO Visor (all things common to an HX node), and now even if we don’t have storage on this particular server we can increase compute performance for our cluster and manage it all from the same HX GUI. There are a few business implications here:

  1. We can now more easily migrate from our current UCS infrastructure to a HyperFlex HCI
  2. We can utilize current equipment and avoid any forklift upgrades
  3. If a certain application is only certified on UCS, for example, we can still run that application in our HyperFlex environment

 

The possibilities don’t end there, especially when we consider that we can do the same thing with actual storage arrays. If we’re already running a Pure array, for example in our data center, we can add this storage to our HX clusters as well!

There are so many other benefits and when put this together with other orchestration solutions, like Cloud Center and UCS Director, or SDN solutions like ACI, we get a full private cloud solution making our automated networks policy and intent driven. Check out the demo video above and visit cisco.com/go/hyperflex for even more information.

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1 Comments

  1. Nice video and article. This prompted me to go look up the details on how to add external storage and I found it well documented. I love having the ability to add compute nodes as well as external high performance storage if required. This really brings in the flexibility that many customers are looking for IMO.

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