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Converged Infrastructure


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Presented at InnoTech San Antonio 2018. All rights reserved.

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Converged Infrastructure

  2. 2. A BRIEF HISTORY OF IT INFRASTRUCTURE Where did we come from? The Mainframe World! • Single hardware vendor for CPU/Memory/Storage (well, mostly). It was already Integrated. • Very reliable, with native redundancy • Well understood staffing model AND … It got the job done. Why did we change? • Vendor lock-in • Proprietary and Expensive • Costly to expand • Did not address the business drivers that were emerging based on the advent of: • The Personal Computer So, where did we go from the Mainframe? What were its characteristics?
  3. 3. OPEN SYSTEMS! We started buying - - Server 2 Server 3 Ethernet Server 1 Application Application Application Networking for connectivity … Servers with local storage …. Big storage arrays … And we found out that … • The hardware was Cheaper • The Software was Cheaper But we found that the staffing costs were vastly higher
  4. 4. THE COST OF PROGRESS For the next 10 to 15 years, IT spent enormous amounts of $$’s and Time building: • Massive datacenters designed to house servers/networks/storage; • Huge IT Operations organizations designed to integrate and support these huge datacenters; • Huge IT Development organizations designed to build/acquire software to run in these huge datacenters;
  5. 5. THE ADVENT OF VIRTUALIZATION In 2007-08, Virtualization *finally* began to change the landscape of those datacenters and how IT worked. • Consolidation of “servers” began to happen in the form of VM proliferation; • Server provisioning could now occur in minutes (not weeks); • Hardware vendor “lock-in” became a moot point BUT IT organizations were still in the business of integrating all of the hardware to support this
  6. 6. LETS TAKE A LOOK AT THAT BASTION OF KNOWLEDGE: WIKIPEDIA • Converged Infrastructure operates by grouping multiple information technology (IT) components into a single, optimized computing package. Components of a converged infrastructure may include servers, data storage devices, networking equipment and software for IT infrastructure management, automation and orchestration.
  7. 7. (CI is..) Grouping multiple information technology (IT) components into a single, optimized computing package. LETS PEEL THIS DEFINITION APART
  8. 8. Components of a converged infrastructure may include servers, data storage devices, networking equipment and software … MAYBE THE SECOND PART HOLDS THE CLUE
  9. 9. … may include … software for IT infrastructure management, automation and orchestration. AHH, HERE IT IS
  10. 10. SO, WHAT ARE WE LEFT WITH? We are left with the vendors telling us what a Converged Infrastructure really is. The first successfully marketed Converged Infrastructure was the vBlock by VCE (now Converged Platforms Division)
  12. 12. THE VBLOCK The vBlock design is defined by VCE, built by VCE and rolled onto the Datacenter floor by VCE. The IT staff have nothing to do with the integration of the parts. Provisioning software is built by VCE and is used to configure the entire “System”.
  13. 13. THE VBLOCK But the vBlock is a (nearly) completely closed system. Did we come full circle? ?
  14. 14. THE VBLOCK CANNOT BE THE ONLY CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE! In fact, it is not. There are others, and they fall under the heading of: REFERENCE ARCHITECTURES
  15. 15. CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE DEFINED A reference architecture in the field of software architecture or enterprise architecture provides a template solution for an architecture for a particular domain. (again
  16. 16. SO, WHAT DID ALL OF THIS BUY US? One thing: A SINGLE SUPPORT MODEL. With VCE, you call VCE for support regardless of Cisco/EMC/VMware issues. The same goes for the Reference Architecture vendors. Missing Items: • Single Management Plane • Automation • Orchestration
  17. 17. SO, WHAT’S THE VERDICT? The Verdict is: • Converged Infrastructure was and is an stepping stone to get IT out of the “Integration” business and to start focusing on Service Delivery. • BUT, it falls short in: • The Management/Automation and Orchestration arena. • Being Cost Effective • Being Flexible SO, WHERE DO WE GO FROM CI?
  18. 18. HYPERCONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE (HCI) HCI is an outgrowth of the older CI systems, but where Storage is now as tightly woven into the infrastructure fabric as Virtualization was into the server/CPU infrastructure. WHAT MADE HCI PRACTICAL?
  19. 19. Really, two things: - CPU’s with vastly more cores - Flash or SSD’s Flash technology has allowed IT to: - Deliver more IOPS/$$ than any other storage technology - Eliminate planning about “RAID Groups” or worrying about mixing workloads (ie., Random vs Serial). - Deliver “set and forget” Compression and Deduplication.WHAT WE HAVE NOW ….
  20. 20. Node 2 Node NNode 1 Hypervisor Hypervisor Hypervisor VM VM VM VM VM VM VM VM VM Creation of a Single Storage Pool HYPER CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE 10g Networking Scale Out Storage Add as needed to match workload SO, WHAT'S THE CATCH? Advantages of HCI: - Your infrastructure is Managed as a whole. You get closer to the “Single Pane of Glass”. - The amount of Rackspace used is typically 3x less when compared to Traditional or CI systems. - Vastly less complex - Can use commodity or “whitebox” hardware.
  21. 21. HCI ISSUES - Storage scales out – but at the cost of being forced to add compute that I might not need. - Adding HCI nodes is typically more expensive than adding incremental compute/storage to traditional systems or to CI systems. - Despite the claim that HCI is all “Software Defined” – we still need physical devices in order to get to the outside world! - Pushing the “We can do HCI on Whitebox Hardware” agenda simply pulls IT staff back into the “Integrators” sandbox.
  22. 22. WE SEE THE CLUE IN …… THIS ! • We keep trying to make the hardware better, but our efforts fall dismally short. • Our Application Development still treats our Infrastructure as if it is that old Mainframe. CI and HCI simply made things “a little easier” to handle. • What we truly need is what we started long ago – applications that care little about where things are running (remember Client/Server?) Which Means We Must Go Back To The Beginning
  23. 23. LETS BACK UP A BIT……. We had the 1st Paradigm – “Big Iron” Monolithic software running in a tightly controlled environment Then the 2nd Paradigm – “The Intel Era – Personal Computing” Monolithic software running on islands of inexpensive PCs. Then came the 3rd Paradigm – “Web Servers and Web Farms” Monolithic software running lightweight interfaces on
  24. 24. “SERVERLESS COMPUTING” What we have been working toward is an Infrastructure that mimics the characteristics of our home utilities. We now have the beginnings of the “Serverless Computing” environment that is built around Intentional computing running on containerized services. These services are managed by systems like Docker, Kubernetes, NGINX where small code
  25. 25. THIS IS KNOWN AS THE 4TH PARADIGM -- “CLOUD NATIVE APPLICATIONS” • CPU, Memory, Storage are treated as UTILITIES. • You buy/use what you need – and no more. • Everything is “Serverless” • The concept of spinning up a permanent “server” disappears • Single Page Application HTML5, CSS, & JavaScript • API calls to “cloud services” • Single GIT continuous development for code, content, and infrastructure • Intent based and demand reactive
  26. 26. IN CLOSING …… We see now that Converged and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure were simply support models, designed to make life easier for Operations Teams. But we also see that the Infrastructure (CPU/Memory/Storage/Networks) needed to catch up in order to support the software methods attempted so long ago. HCI has actually proven to be a stepping stone to this “4th Paradigm” in that is has shown that we can now build “Software Defined Infrastructure” that will support this new