Hyper-Converged Infrastructure; why the need?
I remember a time where the silos were tall and sturdy, you dared not trespass across the storage aisle from the networking aisle without repercussions and bad blood. The very idea that a virtualization admin could provision his own storage would send many a VMAX admin up in arms followed by a nasty email to his supervisor that those “VMware” guys should stay in their place and mind their own business. Fast forward to 2015 and things have certainly changed.
Note: This post will not go into the pros/cons of any one particular technology but rather why the need for HCI was inevitable and then tie that into the concept of three P’s of innovation.
Hyper-converged infrastructure has certainly been a hot topic and keyword for several years now. The typical barriers in IT such as time to provision, scale, ease of use and deployment are all virtually overcame with the idea of a HCI appliance. Therefore, my question really becomes “Why are so many companies and organizations unable to make the shift to HCI?” Whoa! Talk about a loaded question!
First, let me say that it’s not simply about taking an appliance and throwing it into an environment that has been retrofitted for a three decade old infrastructure and expecting it to work from the word go. I worked in an enterprise environment for years that was burdened with old change control mechanisms and a staff that had yet to adopt ideas like “on-demand” and “self-service provisioning” because they were fearful of their jobs. I only moderately hinted at the answer to my question about in my last statement. People are fearful of what they don’t understand, whether that’s right or wrong. There will always be fear and uncertainty in the marketplace and new technologies are always trying to cannibalize older technologies, however, putting your head in the sand and trying to ignore this won’t work in the long run.
Second, it’s not so much a question of why to adopt HCI but rather how. As I eluded to earlier, throwing a HCI appliance into an environment and expecting it to work is as smart as thinking a fool and scissors go hand in hand. People, process and product or the three P’s of innovation have to be kept in lockstep with one another. Tearing down the silos of the traditional data center and having those responsible for resources provisioned appropriately is where the magic starts to happen.
Third, not all are going to adopt these types of changes. People are creatures of habit and not one’s to adopt change quickly or even easily. Having seem the egg times sitting on desks waiting to retire, the concept of adopting something new can only be taken by those with an open attitude and perspective. I’m not saying there is an age or demographic for those that accept change, it is a frame of mind.
What are your thoughts on HCI? How has it affected your environment from both a personal and political point of view?