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Golf season is in full swing, and I’m ready to get out on the course with a few friends. Far from being scratch players, we believe the game’s more fun if we don’t take it too seriously. In fact, our standing rule is: if you’re not happy with your first shot, take a mulligan. Grab another ball out of your bag and start the game over, as if that stroke never happened.
At times, IT admins must wish their data center technology was equally forgiving. For instance, someone may accidentally erase a subdirectory, forget to perform a backup, or upload a patch without first performing a test. Any of these simple mistakes in the data center can lead to hours or even days of recovery effort, costing the business real money. According to a Veeam 2017 Availability Report, a single hour of IT downtime can cost organizations as much as $108k.
Technology architected for resiliency
Resilient IT environments nearly eliminate downtime, protecting data from a mishap or disaster by allowing an administrator to bring back data from a previous state, before the incident occurred. In effect, the virtual mulligans built into modern infrastructure can ensure a simple mistake doesn’t become a huge problem.
Modern IT architecture often incorporates at least one layer of data protection. Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is architected for resiliency, continually protecting data, and letting you revert to backup copies after an IT misstep. Unlike traditional IT infrastructures, each HCI node is a self-contained, micro data center that converges compute, storage, and networking along with data services such as backup and disaster recovery. Redundant internal hardware helps ensure data availability if a drive goes down inside the node. To provide high availability across the data center or across sites, most hyperconverged solutions replicate business data, storing copies on two or more nodes in a cluster.
When HCI nodes are deployed in separate buildings, towns, or even continents, application data is protected from node failure, or the failure of an entire site (think catastrophic events like hurricanes or fire). With a comprehensive data protection plan in place and the right HCI solution, critical data can be available again in a few mouse clicks, with minimal impact to the business.
A fresh approach brings rapid recovery
A 2019 IDC survey explains why traditional backup/recovery software is insufficient for today’s workloads and data loss threats. Siloed architectures, single points of failure, and limited IT resources available to support remote offices can put data at risk in dynamic virtualized environments. Backups scheduled to run once a day no longer provide adequate support for ever-shrinking recovery time objectives (RTOs).
IDC recommends that IT organizations take a fresh look at their approach to data protection and availability. A modern compute infrastructure, such as HCI, tightly integrated with data protection, can stand up to data loss threats such as ransomware and deliver near-zero recovery service levels. According to the survey, HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged customers achieve:
54.5% improvement in backup/recovery and DR operations
44% reduction in time spent on backup operations
33.4% reduction in downtime, and improved application availability
HCI delivers data center do-overs
HCI solutions with built-in data protection features provide resilient data storage architecture that customers like McCullough Robertson law firm rely on for efficient availability and disaster recovery. “We’ve recovered corrupted DMS documents and overwritten files, as well as virtual machines that had been replaced by newer ones, but had important files that were missed during migration. Each of these restores takes minimal time and effort to achieve, and the interface is actually granular, which allows you to restore just the things you need (e.g. a file or folder or disk).”
Updating your data center with HPE SimpliVity HCI can improve business outcomes in a fraction of the time legacy infrastructures require. It can also allow you to take a virtual mulligan and recover from any data center incident.
Thomas Goepel is the Director Product Management, Hyperconverged Solutions for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. In this role, he is responsible for driving the strategy of HPE’s Hyperconverged products and solutions spanning from the Infrastructure Components to the Management Software. Thomas has over 26 years of experience working in the electronics industry, the last 25 of which at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, where he has held various engineering, marketing and consulting positions in R&D, sales and services.