Buying IT Agility Beats Building Every Time

In talking to many customers every day, it’s becoming increasingly evident that these days IT organizations of all sizes are under the same pressure. Businesses need their technology to be more responsive than ever to their changing needs. That means most organizations today expect to be able scale up on demand—no more waiting weeks or months for IT departments to stand up IT infrastructure. To meet that demand for greater IT agility, IT organizations must find new ways to provision IT infrastructure rapidly.

Much like opting to acquire an application rather than building one, it’s now possible for IT organizations to buy IT infrastructure that includes all the components needed to support an application environment, ready to use. Instead of spending weeks integrating servers, virtual machines, storage and networking, IT departments now can purchase from VCE a converged system that includes all the hardware and software needed to make an IT environment run efficiently.

Our approach to building these systems on behalf of IT organizations manifests itself in three forms. At the simplest level are appliances that give IT organizations the ability to start small and grow their IT environment over time. Based on industry-standard x86 processors, EMC storage and Nexus switches from Cisco Systems, these hyper-converged appliances are connected together much like building blocks. These appliances not only provide a simple way to scale, but once connected they appear as common shared pool of resources to applications.

For more complex needs there are blocks of computing designed an optimized to support IT environments that need to run thousands of VMware virtual machines. These industry-leading Vblocks, based on Cisco’s Unified Compute System (UCS) and EMC storage are already in use by more customers. A combination of Cisco and EMC management software turns all those Vblocks into a common set of resources that can scale dynamically to support the application needs of IT organizations that need to deploy IT infrastructure at unprecedented levels of scale.

the right mix

Between these two extremes is a middle ground made up of hyper-converged racks. Consisting of as many as 1,000 nodes, these racks are designed to support IT environments that are too large to be addressed by appliances, but don’t yet reach a level of scale that involves thousands of virtual machines.

A rack provides a much lower cost of entry to building out a modular data center. Within a rack, VCE supports multiple types of virtual machines and multiple types of software-defined storage architectures. This approach provides IT organizations more choice in how they achieve their IT agility goals.

All VCE block, rack and appliance platforms all share a foundational VScale architecture based on a VCE fabric that makes use of a spine-leaf network fabric architecture to enable the IT environment to scale. VCE Vision Intelligent Operations software then provides the framework for managing the entire environment.

Collectively, these approaches to deploying and managing IT infrastructure inside a data center provide the mechanism through which IT organizations can scale their environments in ways that enable them to dynamically add to any designated pool of IT resources they desire.

We believe that, over time, IT organizations will deploy a mix of blocks, racks and appliances to support different use cases and application workload scenarios. Regardless of the approach taken, there is one thing IT organizations can count on: VCE is committed to providing a set of pre-integrated platforms that not only enable IT to get on with the business of computing much faster than ever before, but also provide a more cohesive approach to managing all the elements that comprise a truly enterprise-class data center.

You can experience all of these products first hand at EMC World.  There will be hands on labs, guided and self-led demos, and a long list of in depth breakout sessions.  You can see a full list of activities on the Converged Platforms Community.   For anyone who can’t join us in Vegas we invite you to join us for our Virtual event and on social media.

About the Author: Todd Pavone