Written by Andrew Jones, Head of Delivery. ORETA.
Congratulations! You’ve decided to accelerate your cloud journey by adopting hyperconverged technologies. Understandably, the decision forms part of our hybrid cloud strategy and may have been a difficult one to make. But you did it. Now it’s time to hit the ground running.
In this blog, we will provide you with several insights into what to do now and recommendations on what you should consider when deploying HCI technologies. For reference purposes, I will refer to Cisco Hyperflex HCI but, please note the problem statements are similar across most HCI architectures.
Before you travel too far, make sure you engage with a partner or similar organisation which has travelled the road before, taken necessary detours and knows where the speed bumps are – they will tell you it’s not all smooth sailing.
The other foundational design requirements to be considered depends on where you are moving from. The following items may already be part of your criteria or need to be added;
How will your users connect to the platform? Do you need additional core switches, copper or fibre cabling or networking components, e.g. MPLS, SD-WAN, Dark Fibre, Cloud Exchange, QoS, WAN optmisation, Load Balancers, DNS or Public IP Address requirements.
Do you require physical or virtual appliances? What FW services do you require – e.g. Palo Alto, Checkpoint, etc.
Do you require DDOS, IPS/IDS? Then you need to consider a service provider – e.g. Telstra.
Do you require a DR solution? If so, what are your RPO and RTO requirements which may affect your DR architecture?
What replication technology and orchestration tools do you require – e.g. Is it a mirror HCI or replication to Azure? Your application and database architecture will also drive the solution. Therefore, you may want to leverage the native HCI replication tools with 5 min RPO or high availability groups with active database architectures for near real-time RPO and RTO.
You may want to leverage the public cloud with near real-time replication with tools such as Veeam and ASR.
Do you need a backup solution – e.g. Cohesity or Veeam? You will need to consider backing up data sizes. The rate of change will determine whether a dedupe appliance, such as Cohesity, is necessary. These days tools allow you to archive to archive to low-cost blob storages in public cloud, such as Google and Azure, rather than traditional tape. Alternatively, you can buy a 'Backup as a Service' (BaaS) - e.g. Telstra BaaS has a 7-year backup product. However, if you change your backup service, it is important that you consider how you will restore from previous archives.
Too often the delivery of the bill of materials is underestimated. You need to factor in the ‘random uncontrollable impacts’ that may occur. For example, COVID-19 has delayed manufacturing in China. Average times of manufacturing certain products has increased from several days to 2-6 weeks.
Many organisations are looking to move up the stack to focus on high-value activities innovating for business. HCI simplifies the stack for management and enables this to happen. However, before you deploy HCI make sure you ask yourself;
Oreta in partnership with CIsco can provide organisations with a managed service which can wrap over their platform and provide a highly resilient private cloud.
Without leveraging a cloud provider, it can take a further 4-6 weeks to move up the stack. Once the HCI kit arrives, you need to rack and stack, build the platform, configure and install the hypervisor, harden and test before you can hand it over to support.
Now you have completed your HCI foundational design, ordered and installed it, you are ready to mitigate your workloads onto the platform.
Finally, if you are on-premise, you may have to consider;
The last point is a blog on its own. Stay tuned.