Hybrid clouds are half easy, half hard. The easy part is the public cloud—with that, you find a cloud provider and leverage their services. The hard part is what makes it hybrid: the private cloud in your own data center. The whole impetus towards public cloud is that on-site infrastructure is tough to design, implement, and support, and that doesn’t change because the on-site infrastructure is cloud.
In fact, cloud places additional demands on on-site infrastructure that legacy architectures don’t. Cloud needs to provide high-availability, elastic services that easily scale on demand, all while providing a virtualized environment supporting multiple tenants. This is a far cry from the static infrastructure traditional in data centers, where servers are often dedicated to single department or applications, and expansion is a slow bureaucratic process requiring layers of approval.
Fortunately for companies trying to transition to hybrid cloud, bringing hyperconverged infrastructure into the data center can help create the private cloud and integrate it with their public cloud provider.
Hyperconverged Infrastructure Characteristics Map to Private Cloud Requirements
Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) brings together processing, storage, and networking into clusters of preconfigured commodity components. This design has several characteristics that map to the cloud characteristics needed in private cloud.
1. Hyperconverged infrastructure offers multiple layers of resiliency to offer high availability. The failure of a single processing or storage node is easily and automatically managed by moving processing and data to other nodes in the HCI cluster.
2. Hyperconverged infrastructure scales easily. Expanding the infrastructure is simply a matter of adding another preconfigured compute or storage node, and the HCI software automates and optimizes usage of the new resources. Because the nodes to be added are standardized, there’s no extensive design or approval process necessary.
3. Hyperconverged infrastructure offers a virtualized environment, allowing multiple virtual machines (VMs) and multiple tenants to utilize the capacity of the cluster.
4. Hyperconverged infrastructure gives data centers a single management platform that provides an overall view of the entire resource pool rather than individual elements, and the HCI is designed to optimize usage of the pool. Since the components of the HCI solution are standardized and the HCI manages the resource pools, management is primarily focused around VMs rather than the hardware, just as in cloud. HCI also often comes with self-service support, minimizing the operations involvement in creating new VMs.
5. Hyperconverged infrastructure reduces costs through use of commodity elements and removing the need to preinstall large amounts of spare capacity.
For many enterprises, using hyperconverged infrastructure will be the most straightforward means of creating the private clouds needed in a hybrid cloud environment. dcVAST is experienced designing and supporting hybrid clouds leveraging the Nutanix and NetApp platforms. Our team will help you assess your needs, design and implement your solution, and manage it so you get all the benefits of hybrid cloud with minimal hassle. Contact us to talk about the reasons you should incorporate hyperconverged infrastructure into your hybrid cloud architecture.