Jim provides solution-engineering support for FoxNet Sales Executives. Jim is a tech guy at heart who keeps up to date with the latest IT trends and discoveries. He also stars in “Tips from the Bar”, bringing IT issues to the forefront of the bartender-customer relationship. Jim’s technical skill, and dedication to customer support allows him to solve the most complex IT challenges.
Q: Jim, thanks for sitting down with me to talk about the increasingly popular Hyper Convergence Movement and shedding some light on what can come across as a very confusing topic to people not necessarily familiar with IT systems. To a business owner, or to anyone, who doesn’t have very much IT experience, I’m sure this can come across as very intimidating!
Jim: I’m excited for the opportunity to talk about the Hyper Convergence trend and the critical role it plays in helping businesses succeed by ensuring that their IT systems are integrated and managed efficiently.
Interviewer: Great! First, I think we should take a second to talk about what Hyper Convergence is and what it means for business owners. Can you put into simple terms what this all means?
Jim: Well, simply put, Hyper Convergence is the blending of IT components into a single platform. This includes computing, storage, networking, virtualization and management software. Ultimately, these systems are put into a single cohesive hardware and software system that can be used to run tightly integrated technologies for a virtualized workload serviced by a single vendor.
Interviewer: So why should businesses care about this? Why should business owners care about Hyper Convergence?
Jim: Hyper Convergence saves businesses money by simplifying the purchase of their IT support into a single bundled package. It’s a similar concept to a home entertainment system where your TV, Blu-Ray player, and audio systems are all controlled through a single remote.
It also saves businesses money by saving their employees time. Because all of the components are packaged in a single integrated system, setup and installation times are very short, allowing businesses to set up their IT needs quickly and with little hassle to their employees. All of this is controlled through a single point for ease of management.
Interviewer: Besides the obvious benefit of saving money, how else does Hyper Convergence benefit a business owner?
Jim: Well, like I mentioned it saves their team a lot of time. With hyper-convergence the time it takes to deploy a new system is much quicker as well as the training for employees can be significantly reduced since everything is integrated into one system rather than having to train employees to understand and maintain multiple systems. As a result, employees have a much faster time transferring to the new systems and can spend more of their time on other tasks.
For example, it saves a lot of time and effort for the IT staff that used to have to work between multiple different groups who were in charge on one system: you have storage people, talking to server people, who are talking to network people, talking with virtualization people, which is quite time-consuming and it’s easy to make mistakes along the way due to miscommunications. But with hyper-convergence, everything comes in a complete package so it’s all there right from the start. The great thing is that you don’t have to work across all of these teams to get it installed, and often in smaller organizations, one employee or a couple of employees can usually manage the whole infrastructure system.
Interviewer: Wow. That’s an incredible way to streamline for efficiency in your IT department. Is this relatively new?
Jim: Hyper Convergence has been around for a few years now. There are a few major vendors that have come out with their own hyper-convergence infrastructures. Nutanix, HP, SimpliVity, and Dell/EMC come to mind right away, but there are more.
Interviewer: Do you have any advice for businesses looking to choose a vendor?
Jim: Well, that would depend on their requirements. All business are different, and their IT systems are no different. Each of these vendors offers products that have similar characteristics, but I would say it depends on how the business wants to work with their vendor. Each vendor offers a different way to scale their environment, and they vary across the industry. The main idea with hyper-convergence is to try and offer smaller companies an infrastructure similar to what large companies use, similar to Google and Facebook. They all use these hyper-converged blocks to scale it out as they need to when they grow.
If a business already has a pre-existing relationship with an existing vendor for other technologies, for example, if a company is already using HP or Dell, then it often makes sense to maintain that relationship and use their systems since they’re already familiar with their services and support.
Depending on which vendor companies have a pre-existing relationship with and which environment they’re operating in, I think those are important factors to consider when picking a provider.
Interviewer: Those are great points. Any other points or thoughts you would share with a business owner if they’re considering choosing a hyper-convergence vendor?
Jim: I’d say that the market is still growing and that there is a trend in the market now towards server-based storage vs. array based storage. Hyper Convergence is one of the main drivers of that server-based storage trend, so there’s going to be a lot of talk in the future about hyper-convergence including new systems and new types of workloads. One of the main use cases for Hyper-Convergence at the moment is for Virtual Desktops.
These systems are designed to handle a lot of users and applications, and new people are always trying to design new features to use these systems for so I think there are some exciting things to come with the hyper-convergence industry.
Interviewer: Well thank you very much, Jim, for sharing this very useful and insightful information with us.
Wanna Geek out and talk Hyper Convergence with Jim. Send him an email!