Platform choices remain important
The virtual machine – and indeed virtualization generally – has become ‘part of the furniture’ of enterprise IT infrastructure. In many ways, it’s the sort of thing you forget about until it breaks, or until you run out of physical resources.
VMware and its vSphere platform made this kind of infrastructure thinking even easier, for example with tools such as vMotion, which allowed you to treat the hardware as a resource pool and move VMs between servers. The result is that many organizations have accumulated a variety of vSphere hardware hosts – of varying ages and architectures – over the years.
However, the demands on enterprise IT infrastructure have not stopped expanding. As well as the constantly growing demand for VM hosting, we see huge interest in newer hybrid concepts and technologies. As well as containerization and microservices (sometimes referred to as ‘serverless’), these include VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure), which remotely manages and delivers virtualized PCs.
VMware has responded by making vSphere more capable than ever before, most recently by adding native Kubernetes support. However, this presents the vSphere-using organization with an even bigger task: not only will you be looking for more server capacity, but in order to keep up with demand you also need simpler management, and of course more automation across the board.
In this paper we will look at what’s driving this need, and at some of the key strategic opportunities it presents. We will also look at how the platforms have evolved, and in particular at how converged infrastructure (CI) has joined with the rapid development and uptake of software-defined technologies to offer notable advantages over modular one-size-fits-all platforms such as traditional hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). Lastly, we will examine an example of a real-life solution, to get an idea of how all of the above can translate into practical business reality.
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Bryan is a technology enthusiast and industry veteran. He has been analysing, explaining and writing about IT and business in a highly engaging manner for around three decades. His experience spans the early days of minicomputers and PC technology, through the emergence of cellular data and smart mobile devices, to the latest developments of the software-defined age in which we all live today. Over his career, Bryan has seen at first-hand how IT changes the world – and how the world changes IT – and he brings that extensive insight to his role as an industry analyst.