The HCI market continues to evolve; when VMware vSAN launched in 2014, HCI primarily focused on modernizing core data centers’ compute and storage resources. Five years on, HCI has come to incorporate network virtualization, advanced management capabilities, hybrid cloud, edge computing and the Internet of Things. VMware, the HCI software leader, continues to drive innovation and define what’s possible.
VMware HCI Supports the Most Hybrid Cloud Use Cases
In April 2018, VMware introduced the concept of a Digital Foundation. The VMware Digital Foundation is simply the Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC) seamlessly extended to edge and public cloud environments, creating consistent infrastructure and operations across multiple clouds, which addresses the significant challenges businesses face managing IT outside of the core data center.
The VMware Digital Foundation addresses hybrid cloud pain points – heterogenous infrastructure, processes and tooling – by creating a ubiquitous control plane to deploy and manage infrastructure, regardless of where it is physically located or what hardware provides the resources, either on-premises or as-a-service. The Digital Foundation empowers businesses to simplify their operations by providing common tools and a single operating model regardless of the underlying infrastructure. Finally, the Digital Foundation provides intrinsic security to protect from internal and external threats. Software provided encryption, micro-segmentation and distributed firewalls enable policy based security to ensure compliance, and lowers TCO by avoiding costly physical alternatives.
According to Gartner, VMware powered HCI supports the most hybrid cloud use cases of any HCI in the market today. In the Gartner article, Four Factors That Will Shape The Future of Hyperconverged Infrastructure, the authors identified six critical capabilities for hybrid cloud, and only VMware HCI has all six capabilities which address all key use cases: backup and disaster recovery, test/dev, mode 1 production applications, app development, multicloud management and multicloud workloads. These unique capabilities enable customers to exploit the benefits of public cloud for critical use cases, and they can achieve better agility, operational consistency and lower TCO from a single software provider.
vSAN 6.7 Update 1 Makes It Easy to Adopt HCI
vSAN 6.7U1 makes it easy to adopt HCI and build a digital foundation by addressing three key needs: simplified operations, efficient infrastructure and rapid support resolution. vSAN 6.7 Update 1 enables IT to quickly build and extend cloud infrastructure. vSAN 6.7 Update 1 reduces TCO by making your storage go further from automatic space reclamation for many applications, and enables admins to size capacity needs quickly and incrementally. Finally, the latest release decreases time-to-resolution with less customer effort, and expediting self-help for common problems through centralized health monitoring.
Quickly Deploy and Integrate Cloud Infrastructure
Businesses need to increase agility to respond to a constantly evolving marketplace. They need a cloud operating model – provisioning IT resources to projects on demand – which requires simplified operations from automation. Any operation – from installation to upgrades – should be made easier. As the demands on IT keep growing without increasing headcount, organizations need solutions that require minimal effort, so they can focus their teams on innovation instead of ongoing operations. Also, they need tools that can be used by a unified team, rather than specialists.
vSAN 6.7 Update 1 empowers you to quickly build and integrate cloud infrastructure with guided, exhaustive instructions for complex tasks, which make it easy to get started with HCI. IT personnel are aided when performing day one and two operations from build in checks and best practices throughout the process. The same process can be used to make infrastructure highly available. Further, vSAN keeps your infrastructure stable and secure with automated patching and upgrades. New, proactive alerts inform users when patches are available. HCI lifecycle management (LCM) simplifies compute and storage patching by using a single, automated tool for both. Finally, vSAN ensures consistent application performance and resiliency during maintenance operations and reduces time spend troubleshooting maintenance mode issues. Also, vSAN saves time by curtailing maintenance operations if it predicts failure.
Spend Less on Capacity and Size Correctly
Businesses are under constant pressure to manage costs; data grows significantly each year, and storage constitutes a major expense for IT organizations. They need technologies that reduce the storage used by applications. Also, many IT organizations buy large amounts of storage up front or overprovision for applications, which leaves storage resources idle for long periods of time, a hidden opportunity cost that becomes apparent when the support bill comes due. Teams need ways to better predict their storage needs to avoid locking up cash that could fund innovative projects.
vSAN automated space reclamation dynamically reduces application storage usage over time, freeing up valuable resources as well as enhancing application performance by de-staging less data. Organizations will reduce their HCI TCO by getting more out of their existing storage resources. In addition, vSAN enables IT to reliably anticipate when to procure new storage by understanding historical consumption patterns within a cluster. Users will be able size capacity needs correctly and incrementally to improve capacity management and planning.
Expedite Support Resolution with ReadyCare
Data center complexity continues to grow, but at the same time, more IT organizations employ unified teams that may not have deep expertise with all the infrastructure or applications they manage. Businesses need to rapidly identify issues as they arise, and simplified, streamlined processes that reduce their burden redressing support issues.
With vSAN 6.7 Update 1, customers do less to resolve support, in some cases completely eliminating the need to send logs to VMware support. Instead, necessary information can be directly viewed by ReadyCare support in vCenter. vCenter now contains enhanced information to rapidly diagnose and resolve support requests. In addition, ReadyCare decreases time-to-resolution with faster diagnosis of network issues. vSAN Update 1 also expedites self-help, reducing the need to contact Support. Customers gain a single source of health information that can identify problems and suggest information to help customers resolve issues on their own.
Run Cloud-Native Applications on HCI: DataStax and Cloudera Join the Ecosystem
VMware is continuously expanding the HCI ecosystem and the use cases supported by vSAN from business-critical applications to cloud-native workloads. VMware announces DataStax support for vSAN for production workloads, and Cloudera approval for vSAN. vSphere, the universal application platform, users can now leverage the HCI’s industry leading storage for these applications, simplifying operations with a familiar infrastructure tools. In addition, HCI users can experience greater efficiencies in their data centers by running cloud-native apps alongside other workloads on general purpose infrastructure instead of dedicated resources.
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