Data Center Journal

VOLUME 49 | APRIL 2017

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26 | THE DATA CENTER JOURNAL HCI infrastructure, demonstrating the scale and simplicity. By this time, your organization should have already seen the value HCI brings. actIve ManageMent of hcI HCI may sound like a good solution, but you may be worried about the management challenges that adopting this new technology will introduce. e good news is that the top HCI solutions on the market have made it easy for customers to set up and actively manage their infrastruc- ture from a single pane of glass. For scalable HCI solutions, these vendors also provide active management tools that can handle multiple infrastruc- tures from a single pane of glass. MonItorIng hcI Infrastructure monitoring comes in two forms: monitoring the HCI it- self and monitoring the infrastructure as a part of overall daily IT opera- tions. e good news is that vendors' element-management tools do a great job of monitoring HCI. What organizations must consider carefully is how to integrate the HCI into the day-to-day operational processes. e number of customers starting from a clean slate is small, so they already have central monitoring tools and operational management procedures. When you introduce an HCI solution, you cannot expect to "rip and replace" all of the operations and their pro- cedures. So, the best way to smooth the entire flow is to integrate HCI into existing operations-management tools. Many people have the wrong notion that all you need to do is feed alerts and data from the HCI tools into the main operations-management console for the work to be done. is approach will lead to a bad experi- ence for your organization, the reason being that you are dumping raw data and not providing context for op- erations teams. Look for monitoring solutions that do the following: 1. Add no additional graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to your opera- tions management, but instead use what you already have 2. Create end-to-end application context for the infrastructure that you've added 3. Capture and present the right data at the right time in the central operations-management consoles to reduce mean time to resolution is approach will make your HCI easy to manage and will make all HCI applications easy to troubleshoot. is kind of solution will not only differentiate your HCI from a tradi- tional infrastructure in the eyes of your operations team, but it will also convert them to become champions for broader HCI adoption. protectIng data In hcI IT leaders know that data is their organizations' lifeblood, and protect- ing it is crucial. Data in hypercon- verged infrastructure is no different. Most companies think they can use their existing data-protection solu- tions to manage the data in their HCI. Although doing so is possible, most customers should think twice about it. HCI provides the simplicity, modular- ity and scale that allow organizations to roll out new projects and expand initiatives quickly. You want to avoid constraining this flexibility with a legacy backup system that might slow things down or force you into an old- style operation. When you're consid- ering data-protection solutions for HCI, look for the following attributes: 1. Ensure the solution is tightly inte- grated with the HCI and employs the intelligence available in the system. Without this capability, you are reducing the value of your system. 2. Go beyond protecting the virtual machines (VMs) or containers that HCI presents. Although this protection is a great start, busi- nesses care about applications, so make sure your solution focuses on applications. 3. Confirm that, similar to your HCI, your data-protection solution is simple to use, simple to deploy and simple to scale. Don't attach a monolithic architecture to your modularly scalable HCI system. 4. Make sure you can employ spare capacity for backup, or you should have the ability to expand the capacity of your HCI for the backup data. Why add one more data-protection storage silo when your hyperconverged infrastructure can scale and also provide the right level of risk management? Deploying and managing IT infrastructure efficiently is no easy task. e good news is that technolo- gies such as HCI have evolved to make the job much easier owing to their simplicity, modularity and scalability. It's now up to companies to choose the right tools to complement their HCI and get the most out of their investment. Good luck, and reap the benefits of HCI! n about the author: Subbiah Sundaram is head of Data Protection at comtrade Software.

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