Essentials Guide to hyperconvergence for growing organisations
How growing organisations can benefit from hyperconvergence to scale more easily and respond to change in an agile way that keeps costs down.
How hyperconvergence helps growing organisations unlock new value
Small Business Essentials for Data Center
Welcome to a new way to run all of your IT on a single business computing platform
This guide will tell you all the key things you need to know about hyperconvergence:
As the latest generation of business computing, hyperconvergence provides you with a simple and cost-effective solution if you're faced with growing demand for IT services.
This guide uses real-world examples to show you how small businesses like yours have achieved:
Growing pains? Things getting more complex to manage? Need more capacity? Want to move faster?
There’s a new generation of business computing that’s purpose built for rapid deployment and ease of management.
One that allows growing organisations to scale up or down more easily and respond to change in an agile way that keeps costs low.
If you’re a small business, you likely already use software as a service (SaaS) to support your daily operations.
But if you’re struggling to manage the pace of growth at your organisation – whether in terms of the number of customers you serve, the number of employees you have, or the time and cost involved in delivering IT services using multiple vendors – hyperconvergence can deliver everything you need in a single solution.
Hyperconvergence is a business computing platform that gives you cloud-like agility, but with all the benefits that owning your own IT infrastructure offers – consistent and reliable performance for a known cost over a fixed period, with security and compliance assured.
A simple answer to managing complexity
Best of all, it's so simple to manage, you don't need a large team of IT specialists to run it.
Read on to find out more about the fastest growing form of business computing today.
What is hyperconvergence?
All you need to know about hyperconvergence in 5 minutes
What is Hyper-convergence?
Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is the next step in the evolution of business computing.
It combines compute, storage and network and uses abstraction and automation to provide an all-in-one data centre that can be up and running in under an hour.
Key benefits are:
- No need to buy servers, virtualisation software and management tools separately
- Supported by a single vendor
- Does not require addition of storage
- Integration reduces overall cost
Go here for a deeper dive into HCI
All-in-one data center
Hyperconvergence evolved in a similar way to the mobile phone.
The mobile phone was conceived as a portable device for making calls. But now it includes a camera, it runs lots of software, and it can store loads of data such as photos and music.
That’s why it’s called a smartphone!
Similarly, business computing devices were conceived to perform specific tasks:
Compute – devices to provide the processing, memory, local storage, and network connectivity required to run software applications
Storage – devices used for housing data, such as tape, magnetic disk, and now today, flash memory (the same technology used in the USB stick)
Network – the physical cabling and wireless devices that connect compute and storage, plus switches and routers to direct network traffic between them
Watch this 6-minute Hyperconvergence 101
You may be familiar with the term ‘data centre’, the name given to a network of computing and storage resources.
Hyperconvergence collapses all of these separate components into a single appliance.
In other words, it gives you an all-in-one business computing platform that’s powerful and feature-rich to support all of your software applications and business needs.
Why do you need hyperconvergence?
Today's app economy is all about agility, speed, and providing great digital experiences
Build, buy or rent?
Every data centre was built to do one thing: deliver software applications.
Today you can choose to build and maintain your own hybrid cloud data centers, lease space within co-location facilities (colos), consume shared compute and storage services, or use public cloud services.
Contrary to popular belief, cost is not the main consideration when choosing between build, buy or rent. Some organisations pay a premium for the agility public cloud provides. Others pay a premium for private cloud to get the benefits of guaranteed performance, governance and security.
Business computing has long been the domain of large companies. Yet the consumerisation of IT and rise of the app economy has made digital technology much more accessible.
Smaller players can challenge larger incumbents with disruptive business models that continue to transform whole industries.
Just think: The world’s most popular publishing company (Google) owns no content. The world’s largest taxi firm (Uber) owns no cars.
Why is this relevant to you?
Because digital presents a huge opportunity for your organisation to innovate, find more efficient ways of doing things, and create new value.
It’s the innovators that get ahead.
Whether that’s new ways of providing goods and services to your customers, more efficient ways of working internally and with partners, or responding to changes in the market much faster.
Embrace digital transformation
If you are a small business, it can pay big dividends to choose a common business computing platform that provides cloud-like agility (on demand, as a service) and economics (pay only for what you need).
Hyperconvergence delivers the same levels of flexibility and cost efficiencies that come with cloud. Yet it’s proven to give you lower total cost of ownership over time compared with public cloud fees. Additional savings can also be realised in terms of networking and IT staff time.
Check out the ROI analysts at IDC identified at this growing organisation.
Who is using hyperconvergence?
Some real-world examples of how small businesses have transformed the way they work
Why choose private cloud?
Public cloud services are convenient and require little overhead to run. You just consume the resources you need and pay on a monthly basis.
But the more you consume, the higher the cost – particularly when it comes to storage.
In reality, you can run the majority of your business computing more efficiently using your own private cloud.
And with cloud-based management, you get all the benefits of the cloud model, but at a predictable cost over a typical 5-year investment period.
Simple IT that’s fast, responsive, and cost efficient
If you want to invest in your own business computing rather than managing lots of software and services from the cloud, hyperconvergence gives you everything you need.
World-famous department store Liberty London is a big fan. The retailer’s systems were struggling to support its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). With hyperconvergence deployed, user login has been cut from 30 minutes to 30 seconds.
TASSO is a non-profit animal welfare organisation who operates Europe's largest pet registry.
Like many smaller organisations, it had started out with a few servers and a virtualisation solution. However, as its database grew, it became costly to add more storage, with system performance also starting to suffer.
By replacing its legacy system with a hyperconverged platform that comes with all flash storage, TASSO now has all the capacity and performance it needs.
Why organisations love hyperconvergence
It has also lowered its management overhead with automated system configuration, and plans to deploy VDI to support its call centre team.
Digby Brown Solicitors, Scotland’s largest personal injury firm turned to hyperconvergence to support its digital transformation.
With legacy infrastructure and a complex application base holding it back, the firm migrated to hyperconvergence because it’s much simpler to manage. The IT team at Digby Brown Solicitors is now able to spend much more time on innovations that drive business outcomes and much less time on systems administration.
Choose next-gen hyperconvergence
Want to know what separates the different flavours of hyperconvergence available in the market today?
Modernise now and simplify your future
Not all forms of hyperconvergence are made equal.
Cisco HyperFlex is the ONLY hyperconverged system to combine compute, storage AND network in a single solution that gives you the most consistent and powerful performance to handle any workload.
One that’s fast to deploy (34 minutes), simple to manage (software sees compute, storage and network as one), and is the market leader in system performance (independent lab tests - see the results).
Be a hyperconvergence hero
There are a few flavours of hyperconvergence competing for your attention.
But several well-known platforms lack a vital ingredient – the network.
Although it can take just 30 minutes to install a hyperconverged appliance and 15 minutes to configure it, adding network as an afterthought can be costly.
Choosing a platform that includes network by design means you have a truly hyperconverged solution.
That’s exactly what you get with Cisco HyperFlex.
We launched Cisco HyperFlex with the vision to completely redefine hyperconverged infrastructure.
Our approach was to provide a fully-engineered, next-generation platform that addressed the shortcuts first-generation hyperconvergence vendors made in networking integration and scalable performance.
Speed. Power. Versatility. Cisco HyperFlex has it all.
What’s more, our HyperFlex All Flash nodes and 3rd Generation 40 Gbps UCS fabric networking give you blazing fast performance.
Crucially, with Cisco, you get the freedom to choose the best models for your small business. Whether it’s an easy way to deploy and manage your apps onto any cloud or data centre, or consume what you need on your terms.
You can also get instant access to our our Flexible Finance portfolio. Combine hardware, software, services, and third-party equipment on one easy-to-manage contract – with options to add more solutions to the agreement as you grow.
Can I afford to buy a private cloud?
Finance options built with small businesses in mind
Stay ahead of industry trends
Get IT solutions more affordably, save valuable cash and make the most of your technology investments.
Technology investment is just one of many priorities competing for your budget. So why not free-up your valuable cash? Bundle your entire IT solution: hardware, software, services and subscriptions, including third-party. All with monthly, true interest-free payments.
With the option to add more solutions as your business grows, you have the flexibility to stay ahead of industry trends.
But buying the right technology is only half the battle.
Build the business case
Financing any IT investment is a balancing act. We can help you to fund your next project, minimise upfront costs and deliver the benefits you want.
We’ll also help you build in the flexibility to scale or update outside of planned refresh cycles. Because who knows what the future holds?
You could purchase your new IT solution outright and pay in cash. However, a technology investment is likely to be one of many strategic investment priorities competing for your budget.
In addition, equipment starts to depreciate and age as soon as it’s purchased, requiring ongoing maintenance and upkeep.
Alternatively, you could take a bank loan or similar financing options, but you will pay a higher interest rate that will inflate the actual cost. Plus, you won’t have the option to upgrade or refresh the technology.
Instead, there is an increasing trend of companies leasing IT solutions. According to a recent study by the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, 8 out of 10 business now finance their IT equipment.
Leasing delivers an almost cost-neutral technology refresh capability, but more importantly avoids technology obsolescence.
When assessing financing options, organisations say the most important factors are:
1. Reducing total cost of ownership
2. Flexibility to manage budgets
3. Accelerated technology adoption
If you’re thinking of making an investment in a Cisco solution to help you grow your business, Cisco Capital is the best way to finance your IT.
Whether you are at the beginning of your journey, or looking to extend and improve existing investments – we can provide you with financing to suit your small business requirements. Find out more about financing with Cisco Capital.
What services are available to help me?
Support for your small business at every step
Grow with confidence
When you’re investing in something as critical to your business as IT, you have to think about much more than just the technology products you’re buying. You’re buying into a vendor — and the way they look after you at every step of your project can make all the difference.
So, let’s explore some of the resources Cisco offers to help your business and your people to be more successful.
With our services, Customer Experience organisation and all of Cisco behind you, you can tackle your biggest challenges with confidence as you grow with your ambitions.
Help is always just a phone call away
When a misconfiguration or obscure bug takes down your network, you need to know the right people are in your corner.
Cisco’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC) has thousands of engineers around the world with huge collective experience, not to mention cutting-edge tools and data at their disposal to diagnose and fix your problem, fast.
TAC isn’t just there should things fall over. You can call for advice with configuration, software upgrades, or any other issue that concerns you.
Cisco’s TAC has won more awards for the quality of our support than literally any other company in the world. Is there anyone else you’d rather have at the end of the phone?
Knowledge is power
Research shows that Cisco-certified staff are better respected and perform better at their jobs. We make our premium quality technical training available in all kinds of formats through the Technical Knowledge Library.
Across cisco.com you’ll find a wealth of information resources to get you in the know about industry trends and new technologies — from blogs to design guides and documentation, and the famous TechWise TV. For content specific to small businesses, go to Tech Connection.
Join the club
When you choose Cisco, you get access to our users everywhere. Check out our Communities for technology discussions, and join The Gateway to feel right at home with a private community of people just like you.
See how our services help businesses succeed.