The Next-Generation Server Room

There was a recent article on Network Computing regarding the Next Generation Data Center that got me thinking about our SMB target customer and the next generation server room.  Both the enterprise and the SMB face the influx of traffic growth described in the article (clearly at different levels, but an influx none-the-less).  So how will the SMB cope?  How will an IT organization with the limited resources of time and money react?  By focusing on Simplicity in the infrastructure.

Elimination of Legacy Storage Protocols through Hypervisor Convergence

There is an ongoing trend to virtualize workloads in the SMB that traditionally meant adding a SAN or a NAS to provide shared storage for high availability.  With the introduction of Hypervisor Converged architectures through products like Scale’s HC3, that requirement no longer exists.  In this model, end users can take advantage of the benefits of high availability without the complexity that comes with legacy storage protocols like iSCSI or NFS.  Not only does this reduce the management overhead of the shared storage, it also simplifies the vendor support model dramatically.  In the event of an issue, a single vendor can be called for support with no ability to place the blame on another component in the stack.

Simplicity in Scaling

Moore’s Law continues to hold as better, faster and cheaper equipment becomes available year after year.  By implementing a scale-out architecture in the infrastructure, IT organizations can take advantage of this by purchasing what they need today knowing that they can purchase equipment at tomorrow’s prices to scale-out the resources when the need arises.  Combined with the ability to mix and match hardware types in a hypervisor converged model also means that users have granularity in their scaling to match the requirements of the workloads at that time (such as adding a storage-only node in HC3 to a compute cluster to scale out only the storage resources).

Single Pane of Glass

Having a singe view of the entire infrastructure is key to simplifying the day-to-day management for the SMB.  This goes hand in hand with the removal of legacy storage protocols since there is one less component in the mix to manage.  Any overhead that can be removed from the environment should be.

Intelligence and Automation in the Software

High availability is a necessity for most SMBs.  There is always one or more critical workloads that require the application(s) be online and available for the success of the company.  Architecting and monitoring for high availability have traditionally been challenging, but as intelligence is built into the software that can automate things like recovery from hardware failure, this will become less burdensome for the SMB IT organization.  Check out this video showing HC3’s automated failover of VMs while demonstrating a node failure:

The server room will continue evolving in the SMB, but simplicity in the infrastructure will always be key for this segment of the market.  If you would like to see a more on Scale’s HC3 product, be sure to sign up for our live weekly demo.

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