The datacenter transition is AGAIN among us. Years ago, it was moving from big iron (datacenter V1) to commodity X86 servers to standardize and give people the freedom of operating system choice. Soon after, server virtualization took the world by storm. To match the compute virtualization craze, storage virtualization and automated tiering simplified our storage lives. In our industry, we really look at the migration from a physical to virtualized datacenter as datacenter V2.
As we look at the next 1-5 years, we are evolving into datacenter V3. Technology is really making a move to software centered advantages rather than hardware based. There are many aspects of a software defined datacenter. Networking can now be consumed via commodity switches and open networking software. Storage can be acquired as needed and expanded/managed with software. Cloud platforms allow us to migrate applications/workloads to and from private and public clouds. It really is the software isn't it?
At this current point of time, we have many customers that have centralized storage. They range from large customers with 12 commercial SANs to smaller customers with single units. When we meet with them, many of the discussions focus around growing properly and how to not spend the same dollar twice. Storage growth can be tricky, and we employ storage architects as well as datacenter architects for this reason.
We also have conversations with our customers on the growing hyperconverged trend. Hyperconvergence combines compute, storage, networking, and the hypervisor in a single engineered solution - allowing a brick by brick growth strategy utilizing software to tie all of this hardware together. We ask the customer to consider this option and "Hold That Thought" on your next large storage purchase/upgrade. If you are someone that is responsible for keeping your organization on the cutting edge of technology, it may not make sense for you to purchase that large SAN. Do you want to be stuck depreciating that asset while other customers in your industry are passing you by with the advantages of a hyperconverged platform? It is at least worth a look to educate yourself.
I'm not saying hyperconverged is for everyone...There are cases in which it is not a good fit. Do you have a need for large file based repositories? Big data and/or data lakes? Do you have a target workload that you need to keep on SAN for the control? There are many cases where keeping SAN makes sense. This is something that we can help you through.
We are hosting an awesome event to learn more. On September 8th, join us for an afternoon filled with hyperconverged deep dives and demos. We will have hands on labs of 4 different hyperconverged platforms under Dell. After educating yourself with what's out there, it will help you make some clear decisions in the future: