Edge-Optimized HCI: Bringing Apps Closer to Data and Data Closer to Apps

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The digital world is experiencing a seismic shift away from data centers. Because data is increasingly generated and stored at the edge, IT is being tasked to build out remote infrastructure in companies of all sizes. Today, retail businesses, banks, hospitals, energy companies, and educational institutions are all capturing and accessing real-time data at the edge to automate operations, make better business decisions, and improve outcomes.

The very notion of a data “center” is waning as data is increasingly created where business is happening. Users demand that apps be closer to data and data be closer to apps, so it no longer makes sense to have computing power and storage capacity limited to a central location. Infrastructure is being driven to the edge, evolving into nebulous, interconnected realms of data and devices that can be anywhere: on a manufacturing floor, in a car, on an oil rig, or in the palm of your hand.

And these digital realms are growing. Some analysts estimate that 75% of all corporate data will be located at the edge by 2025, and IDC predicts 25% of all data processing will happen there. This newfound reality gives organizations the chance to get closer to customers and remote workers, and to harness and understand data at its source. At the same time, it challenges them to efficiently store and manage increasing quantities of data in the far reaches of their IT environment.

The shift to the edge presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for growth that hinge on infrastructure scalability, efficiency, and availability. Whether you are deploying an edge solution for the first time or updating aging infrastructure, you need to protect data and keep it highly available, to ensure business continuity in all locations. To address physical space concerns and the lack of local IT resources, edge solutions need to be compact and should allow for centralized remote management across multiple sites. And edge site infrastructure must be easily scalable to match rapid changes in demand.

So why not look to the cloud? Because, as many companies have discovered, cloud environments pose their own set of challenges. While the cloud does offer simplicity, scalability, and agility, there are drawbacks to leveraging it for edge environments. With data constantly going back and forth to the cloud, end users inevitably experience performance lags, and data egress charges can add up fast. IT organizations should also be wary of vendor lock-in issues and compatibility conflicts between public cloud and local infrastructure.

To keep up with the rapid pace of change, you need a high performance, cost-effective, on-premises solution with the agility and scalability of cloud. Hyperconverged infrastructure just might be the best choice.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure Is Up to the Task

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is wonderfully suited for edge deployments because of its simplicity, reliability, and – in some cases – hyper-efficiency. The combination of tight hardware component integration and virtualized architecture makes hyperconverged solutions an ideal fit for edge. According to 451 Voice of the Enterprise Research, 9% of current adopters deploy HCI at the edge. Over the next three years, this number is expected to grow more than 2X, climbing to 21%.

Benefits of HCI include:

  • Small footprint. A consolidated all-in-one HCI appliance takes up far less space than traditional 3-tier architecture and offers many of the same capabilities.
  • Simple data management. Automation and orchestration make edge management easy with limited IT staff.
  • VM-centric operations. VM workload management through a single pane of glass easily allocates resources across data centers and multiple sites.
  • Easy scalability. Non-disruptively scale by simply adding new nodes as the organization grows.

But these solutions can have limitations. As popular as hyperconverged platforms are, many are not resilient, efficient, or agile enough to support rapid data growth at multiple remote sites. For that, you need edge-optimized HCI.

Edge-Optimized HCI Delivers Speed, Efficiency, and Resiliency

IT organizations need hyperconverged solutions built to accommodate apps and data that are growing exponentially. HPE SimpliVity is edge-optimized HCI that provides the simplified experience of a hyperconverged appliance with new levels of performance, agility, and visibility into flexible resource pools needed to run application workloads. The compact, all-in-one solution addresses specific requirements such as high availability in just two nodes; centralized, multi-site remote management for hundreds of sites; and simplified, automated DR orchestration for offsite disaster recovery. Enterprise data services and artificial intelligence help businesses derive additional value from data, motivating many organizations to replace outdated systems with the HPE hyperconverged platform.

Formula One racing giant Aston Martin Red Bull Racing recently seized on the opportunity to modernize their edge infrastructure with fast, resilient HPE SimpliVity HCI. The race team depends on IT to deliver the right data with high performance for everything from onsite track support at the edge to vehicle design at the core manufacturing site. Trackside space is a challenge and there is no time for outages. With HPE SimpliVity, the team has increased speed of deployment by 4X and can set up the HCI system in less than a quarter of the time of their legacy system. The time savings enables engineers to work from the track earlier, optimizing productivity.

As data creation and processing continue to shift to the edge, hyper-efficient HPE SimpliVity allows businesses like Aston Martin Red Bull Racing to streamline IT, driving increased productivity and agility. With simple, intelligent management, built-in data protection, and easy scaling, the edge-optimized HCI solution is a natural choice for the edge.

Discover how to Unlock the Edge Potential with HCI in this video from 451 Research.

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About Omer Asad

omerasad
Omer Asad is the Vice President & GM of Primary Storage in the HPE Storage & Big Data group. In this role, he leads HPE Primera/3PAR & Data Management Product Management, Nimble Product Management, and the Nimble Support teams. In addition, Omer is responsible for driving the Next-Gen strategy and overall business plan for our Primary Storage business. Omer holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Duke University. He is based in San Jose, CA.

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