Software Defined Hyperconvergence

Stratoscale Briefing Note

Hyperconverged solutions allow organizations to leverage storage and compute in their data centers shrinking the data center footprint and reducing cost of hardware while optimizing software. Most of these solutions provide some of the elements needed to run a cloud in house. They also typically use an off-the-shelf hypervisor like VMware or Hyper-V. The result is a more modern architecture but that’s all. A more innovative approach would be to build the Amazon like experience in the data center. A true Amazon-like experience is more software defined, freeing IT Planners from having to pay premium prices for name brand servers, storage and hypervisors.

Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) is not Hyperconvergence

There are software-only solutions that claim to get around this problem, and in fact they do allow the organization to use commodity servers they choose. However, most of them require a name brand hypervisor. That hypervisor, as well as the physical servers and storage, all has to be selected, implemented and often managed separately. In truth these solutions are software defined storage (SDS) solutions that happen to run in a scale-out fashion under the hypervisor construct.

What is Software Defined Hyperconvergence?

Software defined hyperconvergence should provide everything that the organization needs to build its own IT services stack on top of the actual hardware. This means that the solution should include not only storage management software but the: hypervisor, networking and management of the entire stack as well.

This is what Stratoscale is providing to the market, a software defined hyperconverged solution that includes compute, storage and network convergence.

Stratoscale – Software Defined Hyperconverged

Stratoscale Symphony is an integrated SDDC solution that converges compute, storage and networking to remove the traditional silos, but it does this without creating a whole new silo of hardware that you are forced to buy. Instead the solution leverages existing compute and storage as well as providing flexibility on what the organization purchases in the future.

The Stratoscale hypervisor is based on KVM, but enhances it to make it more stable and feature rich. The solution delivers full OpenStack APIs so organizations with existing OpenStack investments can leverage them. In addition, and unlike other hyperconverged solutions, Stratoscale Symphony allows customers to leverage existing SAN investments as part of the storage pool.

Use Cases

The most obvious use case for Stratoscale is organizations considering starting, or even abandoning, an OpenStack deployment. OpenStack is known for its difficult deployments. Symphony makes it more approachable. Beyond OpenStack deployments are organizations, like service providers and enterprises with analytics or DevOps initiatives

StorageSwiss Take

Cloud providers and enterprises are both under pressure to lower costs and increase agility. They want a public cloud experience. The challenge is that VMware, while being the safe alternative, is expensive and difficult to scale. Hyperconverged architectures simplify the scaling at the cost of flexibility. The public cloud stands as a viable alternative but while the upfront costs are attractive, the long term costs of a service like Amazon add up and are unpredictable.

This combination has lead to the rise of OpenStack. The challenge with OpenStack is that while being perceived as very affordable it is very difficult to implement and requires specific skill sets. Stratoscale Symphony provides a turnkey Amazon-like experience without the “nickle and dime” cost impact of the public cloud.

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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Posted in Briefing Note

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