Hyperconvergence platforms are making their way into data centers around the world as technology professionals work to provide their organizations with the IT infrastructure they will need to support operations for years to come. As with any new technology, organizations adopting a hyperconvergence strategy or planning to move in that direction should view this transformation as a change that will affect both staff and technology.
Are You Ready?
Before embarking on that journey, assess your organization’s readiness for hyperconvergence. The following questions can help guide that discussion:
- Does your organization have a clear business case for hyperconvergence? For a successful move to hyperconvergence, both business and technology leaders should agree in advance on the business justification and obtain any necessary funding commitments. Hyperconvergence strategies often reduce infrastructure and operational costs, potentially significantly. However, leaders must be prepared to fund both the traditional data center infrastructure and the hyperconvergence project simultaneously during the transition.
- What is the expected lifespan of the existing data center infrastructure? Does your organization have an infrastructure refresh on the short-term horizon? If an enterprise is already preparing for a significant data center investment, this might be an ideal time to transition to hyperconvergence. It is more difficult to justify the transition if the existing infrastructure is relatively new. Even in those cases, however, Cisco Systems’ HyperFlex can achieve operational cost savings by simplifying data center architecture.
- Is your organization already using virtualization technology? Many organizations are already highly virtualized in their existing data centers, and the staff supporting those environments are familiar with the physical-to-virtual conversion process. Organizations that leverage virtualization will find an easier transition to hyperconvergence. Technologists considering Cisco HyperFlex will have an even more straightforward transition if they are already using the Cisco Unified Computing System.
- Do technology staff have the skills and experience to support hyperconvergence? As with any new technology, your organization’s IT staff should receive the training they need to feel completely comfortable with the new environment before, during and after the transition. Engineers already familiar with virtualization will have some of the required knowledge, but everyone should receive specialized training on the Cisco HyperFlex platform.
- Has your organization clearly identified the initial use cases for hyperconvergence? Successful organizations typically start their adoption of hyperconvergence with a pilot project that tackles one or two specific use cases. These might include the deployment of a virtual desktop infrastructure, creation of a test/development environment or support for a remote office. A pilot lets an organization get comfortable with the technology and achieve an early victory.
- Is your organization financially prepared to move to a “pay-as-you-grow” model? Hyperconvergence provides tremendous financial benefits by avoiding the enormous upfront investment that traditional data center infrastructure solutions require by allowing enterprises to expand their capabilities as needed. This reduces total costs and spreads out spending over a longer period of time. However, your organization may need to adjust its budgeting process to accommodate this model.
Organizations that develop concrete answers to these questions before beginning their hyperconvergence journey will find themselves well-prepared for success. Clearly addressing both business and technical requirements in advance will make leaders and technologists more comfortable that they are embarking upon a successful initiative.
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