Converged Infrastructure

Find the right balance with HP ConvergedSystem for Virtualization

By Guest Blogger Marc Kravitz, Technical Marketing, HP Converged Systems

 

I was lucky enough to attend opening day for major league baseball in Washington, DC a few weeks ago.  While sitting in the stands with my friend, we talked about the reasons our team didn’t win the pennant last year.  He said, “We made too many errors.  And our hitting with runners in scoring position just wasn't good enough.”  This got me thinking about what we need to do to win more games in 2014, and if enough changes were made to the team to help us this year.  “There are a lot of things we need to consider but it needs to start with a better balance between defense and offense,” I told him.  The new team manager has been focusing very closely on fielding all throughout spring training while the revamped bench gives us better pinch hitting options in the later innings.  These changes make me very optimistic we will have a better result at the end of this season.          

 

IT organizations also have much to consider when trying to find the right balance for virtualization solutions. Starting with the hardware choices, there are a number of criteria which must be evaluated, such as selecting the right combinations of processors, memory, and storage.  This may involve a significant amount of research, which often can become long and cumbersome.  Once the hardware stack has been decided, there’s often a testing phase to make sure it will work together and that applications are performing as expected.  Once tested, an evaluation must be made for deploying the solution into production quickly.   Just planning how to attack all these tasks can be difficult, not to mention the number of weeks or even months it can take to execute.   

 

HP understands the challenges faced by customers when designing end-to-end virtualization solutions.  There are so many factors in play that customers need to consider. With IT resource constraints, finding that right balance between "offense and defense," especially when faced with the pressure from the business to deploy new applications quickly can be difficult.  Addressing these factors upfront helped us design virtualization solutions.  We felt it was important for our customers to leverage HP's vast resources and take advantage of our partnerships with companies such as VMware and Microsoft.  HP has been developing virtualization solutions for over 13 years, and has more virtualized deployments running on HP infrastructure than any other vendor in the industry.  We understand from our extensive research and customer experience how to deploy the optimized balance to support today's most challenging application workloads.  It is this experience and know-how that drove the design criteria behind HP ConvergedSystem for Virtualization.

 

Offense is just one important aspect in baseball.  Players must deliver that big hit, no matter what situation they face.  So it was important for HP engineers to look at all virtualization aspects and incorporate specific items that customers not only require but deliver certain value to address business challenges.  They started in the lab studying and testing the most common virtualized workloads customers are dealing with today.  They looked at all aspects, from possible performance and network constraints, to how to best optimize VM density. By understanding this workload, it allowed HP to pair the most optimal component combination in terms of both servers and storage in balanced blocks. These blocks provide the right amount of "clutch hitting" so applications are getting the best performance at the lowest cost.  Customers are able to take advantage of all this upfront design work and take these aspects off the table during their design phase in order accelerate the time to production.  

 

Growing systems to incorporate additional requirements is also a critical requirement.  As a result, we've extended this "balanced architecture" concept to our expansion blocks.  Each block will include the same design requirements as the main system while providing a seamless method of scalability.  These expansion blocks provide a predictable amount of capacity; therefore, providing clarity to future infrastructure costs.  See Brent Allen's article, Radical standardization across the datacenter simplifies IT. This aspect will help drive operational efficiency in a production environment by eliminating potential performance bottlenecks.   For example, the storage team finds out that servers have been added to the system after the fact.  This forces them to add storage quickly to keep IOPS and performance at a certain level.  As a result, the expansion process eliminates confusion of having to coordinate with multiple parties and reduces the risks of application shortfalls. 

 

Having a solid defensive scheme is also important.  Giving up unnecessary runs due to errors puts more strain and pressure on a team’s ability to win the game.  HP ConvergedSystem for Virtualization was designed with high availability in mind and has incorporated certain technologies that provide critical redundancies. For example, we've included multiple virtualization hosts and management servers in our blade enclosure, along with a completely redundant power infrastructure.  In our networking layer, we've included switches that incorporate the HP Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF).  This technology creates full switch redundancy while not affecting performance.

 

In baseball, it's imperative to have a well-balanced team that performs well in all facets of the game in order to come out on top.  These are the same philosophies HP uses to win at virtualization.  By combining the best technologies that reduce customer risk, HP ConvergedSystem for Virtualization simplifies the design aspect allowing IT to turn their attention to other important areas.  I encourage you to learn more about how HP ConvergedSystem for Virtualization can support your project by visiting www.hp.com/go/convergedsystem/virtualization.    In addition, HP Discover in Las Vegas is coming soon - June 10-12.  This event will provide a great opportunity to interact with product experts on the values of ConvergedSystem.  Please visit www.hp.com/go/discover for more information. 

 

Marc

 

Read about the entire HP ConvergedSystem portfolio

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About the Author
Technology marketing professional with over 25 years of experience in energy, semiconductor and IT industries.


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