Who’s your IT role model? There are companies that achieve levels of excellence with their IT that most companies can only aspire to.
Many of the most successful companies are the web giants like Amazon, Google, and Facebook. They operate environments that are both more stable and more dynamic than most corporate data centers, yet have an agility that allows them to scale rapidly.
For businesses that operate at ordinary enterprise and smaller scales, the technical solutions used by Google, Amazon, or Facebook may not be directly applicable, but the inspiring goal, of a flexible infrastructure that’s easy to support and expand at low cost, is. The standardized, commodity approach of hyperconverged infrastructure lets non-web-scale businesses achieve web-scale benefits including reduced time to market, lower cost, and increased agility.
The goal of a web-scale architecture is a scalable infrastructure that scales out, by adding more server nodes, rather than scales up, by adding more capacity to an existing node. Along with the flexible hardware architecture comes flexible software architecture, with systems designed to have minimal dependency on specific nodes.
Automation supports the ability to rapidly add and utilize new capacity and new applications, as well as recover and transition applications from failed nodes to another available server.
Webscale requires a change in operational procedures, not just architecture. Support teams focus on building automation to support procedures rather than on executing procedures manually.
Achieving Web-Scale in a Corporate Data Center
Achieving the benefits of web-scale in an ordinary-scale corporate data center is most easily achieved using a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platform such as Nutanix. These HCI architectures rely on standardized x86 servers, supporting scale through adding more of these servers.
By combining local storage and compute capability in a single unit, the need for complicated storage networks is eliminated and performance improves. Although storage is local, it’s distributed throughout the server cluster, with built-in redundancy and recovery capability when a node fails. Recovery is further enhanced through integrated management tools that automate failover processes and provide performance analytics.
In some ways, achieving web-scale in a corporate data center by bringing in hyperconverged infrastructure is easy. After all, the hardware is standardized—once you’ve chosen your HCI vendor, you don’t have to repeatedly make decisions about how to expand capacity. But there’s also a change in mind-set needed for your team to make the most of this new architecture. The team needs to start viewing your infrastructure with an eye towards reacting to growth in a short timeframe, and that means defining repeatable processes for monitoring and incrementing capacity and then automating the processes. The team’s focus becomes future needs, rather than current problems. This can be a tough shift for teams that are used to reacting to problems and relying on manual solutions.
Get Help Making the Shift to Web-scale
It’s easier to bring that new mindset into your IT team if you partner with someone who already understands it. dcVAST is experienced with web-scale IT and supports leading hyperconverged infrastructure including Nutanix. Contact us to learn how any size business can develop the reliable, responsive IT infrastructure of a web giant with web-scale and hyperconverged infrastructure.