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Why CI and HCI for Workload Consolidation? 

Many IT teams hesitate to consolidate critical workloads, such as databases—and the business-critical applications that rely on them—on infrastructure shared with other applications. As a result, dedicated silos and high costs continue to run rampant.

In a previous blog post, I talked about the benefits of both NetApp HCI and FlexPod converged infrastructure for a virtual desktop environment. To review:

  • NetApp HCI is an enterprise-scale hyperconverged infrastructure that delivers predictable performance on a highly flexible, efficient architecture that is simple to deploy and manage. It flexibly scales your infrastructure according to what your data center and applications require, while maintaining guaranteed quality of service (QoS) and enabling support by one manufacturer.
  • FlexPod converged infrastructure is a reference architecture for server, storage, and networking components that are pretested and validated to work together. This integrated infrastructure stack includes:
  • Cisco Systems Unified Computing System (UCS)
  • Cisco Nexus switches
  • Either VMware or Microsoft hypervisor technology
  • NetApp AFF/FAS storage 

But what about workload or application consolidation? Many organizations are turning to hyperconverged infrastructures (HCIs) as a way to modernize legacy infrastructure and enable workload consolidation. But not all HCI architectures are the same.

What’s needed is a new platform that provides predictable application performance and low total cost of ownership (TCO), while enabling the consolidation of mixed workloads including critical enterprise applications and databases.

NetApp HCI: Workload consolidation made simple

NetApp HCI delivers the ultimate predictable performance, availability, and low TCO needed to simplify workload consolidation. It:

  1. Guarantees storage performance for each application.
  2. Automates data distribution and load balancing.
  3. Provisions storage the same way you provision virtual compute resources.
  4. Enables you to scale compute/storage independently so you purchase only what’s needed when you need—and only from a single OEM.
  5. Integrates with NetApp Data Fabric to replicate on premises or to the public cloud

NetApp HCI allows you to consolidate mixed workloads on the same infrastructure and assign and deliver a specific performance level to each workload to achieve the needed availability.

A turnkey scale-out solution, NetApp HCI enables you to independently scale compute and storage for more predictable performance and low TCO and adjust as needed to meet demand. It also has self-healing features that enable it to absorb multiple concurrent failures without impacting performance. And it’s fully integrated with the NetApp Data Fabric to facilitate cloud connectivity.

Finally, modernization and consolidation initiatives are moot if they don’t produce the desired cost efficiencies. Make sure to perform a complete cost analysis that not only includes capital and operating costs, but it also includes management, services, and licensing costs.

FlexPod: Improved hardware utilization

FlexPod helps you consolidate and virtualize your business applications onto less hardware. Along with improved hardware utilization, this approach frees up data center space and reduces power and cooling requirements, enabling you to cut infrastructure costs.

FlexPod enables multiple applications to run on the same infrastructure in a multi-tenant environment. No more silos that have to be independently operated, maintained, and supported. Consider these use cases:

  • Consolidate healthcare applications. Whether your organization uses Epic (FlexPod with AFF and Cisco UCS has received the Epic High Comfort Level ranking) or other electronic health record (EHR) solutions, FlexPod platforms improve patient care by making it faster and easier to deploy critical healthcare applications. Consolidate a wide range of applications onto a single system—including not only EHR, but picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), virtual desktops, and department-specific and clinical applications—for greater IT efficiency and accelerated response.

The platform scales up or out to meet the demands of growing healthcare data and new applications, enabling you to future-proof your investments without forklift upgrades.

  • Consolidate hybrid and multicloud deployments. Use NetApp SnapMirror to replicate data between private and public clouds, giving you the flexibility to place your data where you think is best.

With a single click, you can easily and consistently deploy the application profile and applications to data center, private cloud, and public cloud environments. This application-centric approach allows you to quickly and easily build a cloud-independent application profile that defines the deployment and management requirements of an entire application stack.

  • Consolidate your native multi-protocol environment. FlexPod uses a multi-protocol storage platform that unifies application silos, allowing NAS or SAN, file or block, on one converged platform. No need to choose between disparate SAN and NAS vendors. NetApp does both—and quite well, actually!

Regardless of your application stack, compute requirements, or protocols, NetApp has you covered!

Logicalis: Your workload consolidation expert

NetApp Star Partner and one of five Cisco Global Gold Partners, Logicalis’s certified product engineers, services teams, and customer success managers work closely with you to ensure that you achieve your business outcomes. In fact, Logicalis is a proud recipient of NetApp’s Americas FlexPod Innovation Award for 2020.

Start by scheduling a complimentary, vendor-agnostic Cloudscape Workshop for you and your stakeholders. With a current-state view of your environment, we’ll identify areas for optimization and consolidation and provide:

  • An architecture design with service level definitions for your storage, compute, and data protection.
  • A total cost of ownership and financial model.
  • An implementation plan using your actual data and applications.

To learn more, download the Cloudscape Workshop datasheet or call your Logicalis account executive to schedule a workshop. Or contact us for more information.

A respected industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience, Dennis Boutorwick is a NetApp Hybrid Cloud Sales Specialist at Logicalis, responsible for helping enterprise customers navigate the ever-changing landscape of hybrid IT and solve complex business problems through technology enablement.