For year’s organizations have architected custom IT infrastructures
optimized for their application workloads. IT organizations establish standards for server, compute, and network products and even more resources installing, configuring, and integrating these products with custom configurations. This practice has many benefits including highly optimized IT infrastructures for their specific application workloads. These solutions tended to be designed to be reliable, resilient, and lasted many years. The problem is these customized architectures are very expensive to maintain, and are not quickly re-configured for new demands.
Operational cost, lack of agility, and speed are the enemy of enterprise IT today. Many application workloads today do not require customized IT infrastructures architectures. Converged Infrastructure solutions help reduce the time to deploy as well as the operational costs to maintain IT infrastructure. Converged infrastructure uses software to simplify configuration and improve agility to meet new application needs. EMC with Cisco created the converged infrastructure market in 2009 with the formation of VCE and the Vblock product set. This market is continuing to grow rapidly with VCE sales doubling in 2014. As the CI market has matured, it has been extended beyond support for just general-purpose workloads.Today there are many types of CI solutions optimized for a specific type of application workload. There is no one architecture optimized for all the different types of application workloads.
On Monday at EMC World you will be hearing more about new application and infrastructure services we offering as embedded software on our VMAX3 storage array. By embedding these services within the storage array you can optimize performance, and significantly reduce hardware footprint.
We are continuing to enhance both our CI Vblock, and VSPEX CI solutions with more advanced functionality with the latest hardware, and new software enabled functionality like NSX.
In February, we released our first common modular building block CI solution with VMware, called VSPEX Blue. In addition to the modular, commodity hardware architecture we included embedded enterprise grade backup, disaster recovery replication, and cloud archive storage enabled by software. The sales for this product are strong. I previously blogged about VSPEX Blue here if you want more details.
This week at EMC World we will be reviewing the next generation of converged infrastructure based on rack scale architectures. Rack scale architectures allow you scale compute, network, and storage capacity independently. This will greatly increase scalability for larger workloads and consolation of more workloads. The key innovation required for rack scale CI solutions is automated hardware management & orchestration. EMC has developed a hardware management and orchestration (M&O) software technology to interface with bare metal hardware and present an abstracted interface north bound to higher layer M&O software applications. At EMC World we will demonstrate four key functions we have developed to support our rack scale CI product development:
- Discovery – update master element repository with raw hardware capacity details
- Description – report on raw assets available
- Provision – provision and configure operating system
- Deploy – automate provisioning of infrastructure blue prints
** click on function to access recorded demos by my colleague Tom Capirchio
This architecture enables the discovery, and management of compute (processor cores, memory), network capacity, and storage as pools of element capacity. Systems with a variety of operating systems, compute, storage, and network capacities can be created from these pools of element capacity. Based on the demo’s you will see the resource pools can be created from a variety of hardware, from different manufacturers, and with different configurations.
Automation of the hardware discovery, description, provisioning, and deployment of infrastructure blueprints is critical to enable rack scale CI systems. EMC believes this is an industry challenge. We are planning to leverage an open source structure to make this architecture and this initial work available to the industry to accelerate the collaboration of industry. We believe this will result in the creation of standard API interfaces and accelerate the maturation of rack scale converged infrastructure solutions.
As you can see there is a lot of development in the converged infrastructure market. Starting in 2009 with formation of VCE, EMC has been an innovator and market leader in converged infrastructure. We see the development of rack scale converged infrastructure as the next evolution. Hardware management and orchestration automation is critical. If you are attending EMC World this week stop buy the Innovations @EMC booth (#156) in the solutions pavilion. We would love to hear your feedback.