Jason Collier is Co-founder for Scale Computing.
Demands on IT in small and medium businesses (SMBs) are continuing to rise exponentially. Competing IT priorities such as budget restrictions, increased application and customization demands are pushing IT administrators to the breaking point. IT administrators lack the time, resources and desire to spend their day in the weeds of keeping their infrastructure up and running.
New technologies such as hyperconverged infrastructure offer help with improved efficiency, scaling and management breakthroughs. Hyperconvergence is the combination (or convergence) of many potentially disparate platforms into a single platform. In relation to the physical hardware, this means placing compute (CPU and memory) and storage (spinning disk and solid state drives) into a single server. From a software perspective, this means that at the very least, all components of the system are managed from a common interface. This may be a custom user interface built by the manufacturer, or it could be an add-on or extension to the existing hypervisor management software.
There are many myths and misperceptions around hyperconvergence for SMBs however. Below are a few to highlight:
Hyperconvergence Is Too Expensive
SMBs can feel disadvantaged when it comes to technology. IT infrastructure can be really expensive, which means that the gap between the larger companies with their equally large budgets and SMBs can easily grow. While converged and even some “hyperconverged” solutions require third-party virtualization software licensing on top of the solution cost, there are other hyperconverged solutions where the hypervisor is seamlessly integrated. This integration means that SMBs do not need to purchase virtualization software or licenses from any vendor, reducing both cost and complexity.
Smaller IT Staff Will Slow Down SMBs
From computers to mobiles, almost everything is connected and generating data. Many SMBs are left wondering how they will manage their data efficiently and how to create a simple, scalable data center without an IT department. Statistics show that the vast majority of SMBs have limited IT staff (many times only one person) dedicated to IT infrastructure. In such organizations, staff are required to assume multiple roles, often being responsible for many areas of the environment, including networking, servers, storage and virtualization. This can leave staff unable to address concerns, such as security, or to seize new opportunities.
One of the promises of a hyperconverged infrastructure is the simplification of the data center environment, making it easier for smaller numbers of staff to better support the entire environment. Built for easy deployment, hyperconverged environments free up IT administrators’ time, ensuring they can be more productive rather than troubleshooting infrastructure and hardware issues. Without the distractions of managing complex traditional infrastructures, IT staff can focus both on the crucial IT concerns such as security and on new technology to advance the business addressing marketing, finance and the customer experience.
Hyperconvergence Will Hold Back SMB As They Scale
Some SMBs might fear that a solution designed from the small- and medium-sized business will hold them back as they scale. But, once deployed, a hyperconverged solution will save the business time and money, meaning IT staff can dedicate more time and resource to the actual running of your business. What follows then is business growth, which brings us back full circle to the IT environment. How can companies scale IT so that it can keep up with the data and business growth? Fortunately, hyperconverged solutions are designed with scaling in mind with modular systems that allow IT teams to seamlessly add on nodes. This means companies can scale as they grow, rather than having to outlay ahead for any future expansion. As we know, the future is uncertain, so technology needs to be agile.
For the remainder of 2017 and beyond, SMBs should focus on ensuring they have the technology to support their business, their budget, their IT team and their future growth.
Opinions expressed in the article above do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Data Center Knowledge and Informa.
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