3 reasons to (re) consider HCI
If this last year has taught us anything, it’s that businesses need to be able to adapt at a moment’s notice. The overnight shift towards remote-first working placed enormous pressure on CIOs, who desperately created new hybrid digital workspaces for hundreds, or thousands of users¹.
Here at Kuiper we’ve experienced a noticeable increase in the number of enquiries around hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) – a trend mirrored in the results of Technavio Research, who calculated the market growth at 41.72% in 2020².
So why all the noise?
HCI technology combines servers, storage and networking and runs it on a hypervisor. For certain applications, like powering virtual desktops, it’s ideal because it delivers greater performance. Where HCI was perhaps dismissed by some in the past due to high costs, at a time where more organisations need to work remotely, the performance benefits far outweigh the investment.
Today, most vendors have their own flavour of HCI. But in my experience, NetApp HCI is a great option because it plays to NetApp’s strength of delivering multi-cloud environments – enabling organisations to start anywhere, run anywhere, and manage everywhere.
This creates three core benefits:
1. IT as a competitive advantage
NetApp HCI allows organisations to scale up and out with ease. This flexibility to run multiple applications means they can use and analyse more data more quickly to improve time-to-market. And NetApp offers guaranteed performance in writing³.
Ducati is one company that is leveraging the power of NetApp HCI for a competitive edge. It now has the capability to process 300TB of data, produced from more than 60-sensors on it MotoGP motorcycles, to boost performance on the racetrack in the moment⁴.
2. Deliver real-time services
We all know how the volume of data continues to grow exponentially – especially unstructured data. But with NetApp HCI you can enable real-time file sharing for your distributed workforce and boost productivity on a global scale⁵.
For companies like Fraunhofer, NetApp HCI enables them to thrive in the age of Industry 4.0 by automating business workflows and ingraining predictability into its operations when processing incoming orders⁶. While for Children's Mercy Hospital in the States, access to real-time data enables its 8,000 clinicians to deliver better patient care⁷.
3. Reduced total cost of ownership (TCO)
Competitive studies show NetApp HCI lowers acquisition costs by at least 25%⁸ and ongoing operational costs are cut by 67%⁹.
It also reduces the data centre footprint by an impressive 60%⁸, which makes it a very attractive option for co-location data centres and those wishing to lower their carbon footprint – since smaller units require less power and cooling.
And day-to-day, NetApp HCI delivers non-disruptive scaling with zero downtime¹⁰ and makes storage performance three times faster, and increasing compute efficiency by 22%⁵.
HCI isn’t as simple as you think
While the benefits may be attractive it’s important to realise the scale of the project you’re taking on. It might look simple, but true HCI isn’t simply squashing two servers together with some software in between. It’s more complex with different layers, an involved set-up process and you’ll probably need ongoing support to get the most from your investment.
But don’t let that put you off.
We’ve worked with hundreds of companies, helping them to build a sustainable and successful business for the long term. It all starts with understanding what you’re trying to achieve and creating an infrastructure that flexes to your way of working.
As a NetApp Gold Partner, specialising in cloud services, hybrid cloud infrastructure and flash storage, we can help you determine whether HCI is right for you. And if so, we can help build out your business case, comparing it to your current setup and showing the TCO over a given time period, to help you justify the expenditure.