“HCI is winning,” John Gilmartin, general manager and senior vice president of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) at VMware, told a standing-room-only VMworld 2019 session. “It not only delivers operational simplicity and robust server-side economics, but the right HCI architecture future-proofs an organization’s infrastructure investments.”
For many IT leaders and organizations, the results are already game-changing.
Achieving Mission Success with HCI
“Our goal is to provide the absolute best possible patient experience,” Paul Green, CIO of Angel MedFlight, a worldwide air ambulance, told attendees. “And we have been able to do that in part because of VMware HCI.”
Configured as a flying ICU, Angel MedFlight takes patients around the world — ranging from two weeks to 103 years old — to higher levels of care. With HCI as the healthcare provider’s digital foundation, previously manual and cumbersome medical charting and other tasks are now possible live, in-flight to help Angel MedFlight achieve its core mission.
“VMware started everything we’ve done,” says Green. “Now we’re providing our service at scale, worldwide.”
Green says VMware’s HCI technology delivers speed and agility, enabling Angel MedFlight to move to hybrid infrastructure as it grows. Now, the organization can serve more patients without adding staff. Green calls the infrastructure “consistent and simple,” noting how it provides a single view into operations.
What Are HCI and VMware Cloud Foundation?
Hyperconvergence was initially defined as an integrated software stack that combines compute and storage into a single system. Built on software-defined infrastructure, the tight integration reduces data center complexity and increases scalability, driving growth for HCI. IDC predicts that workloads on HCI will grow more the fastest in the next three years – at an astonishing 50 percent for HCI vs. a decline for other types of infrastructure!
VMware Cloud Foundation expands the definition of HCI to a full software-defined infrastructure stack by unifying the essential cloud infrastructure capabilities of compute, storage, networking and integrated cloud management. According to Gilmartin, it’s the only offering with standardized and validated designs that include built-in security and lifecycle automation.
HCI deployments are on the rise across industries because HCI brings greater agility into infrastructure — breaking silos and simplifying operations. This enables organizations to evolve their virtualization investments using the tools and skillsets that are already part of their enterprises, explains Gilmartin.
HCI delivers results – a recent Forrester Report based on VMware customers reveals impressive HCI cost and investment returns, including:
- 72-percent reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO).
- 259 percent return on investment (ROI).
How HCI Future-Proofs IT Infrastructure Investments
More than half (57 percent) of enterprises expect their IT future to be based on hybrid cloud. Gilmartin says that VMware Cloud Foundation paves a seamless path to the hybrid cloud – customers can extend deployments from their private clouds to the public cloud and the edge, with consistent infrastructure and consistent operations enabled through the same software stack regardless of location.
HCI Now Powers Critical Apps at Scale
Organizations everywhere are grappling with more and a wider variety of applications than ever.
“Analysts predict more applications and solutions will be deployed in the next five years than in the last 40 years,” presenter Duncan Epping, VMware chief technologist storage and availability, told attendees.
HCI supports application evolution — powering existing, business-critical, container, end-user computing, and cloud-native applications at scale. Together with partners such as VMware and DataStax, organizations can take advantage of hybrid and multi-cloud configurations for real-time analytics without increasing IT complexity.
“Our joint solution is for organizations building modern apps that want distributed database performance, but need consistent management for applications,” says Jonathan Ellis, DataStax co-founder and CTO.
What’s new in HCI
Gilmartin and Epping expanded on three new areas for HCI as part of the showcase keynote:
- Native integration for modern applications, including a Cloud Native Storage control plane demo to showcase how IT operators could speak the same language as developers or devops administrators.
- Expanded infrastructure options, including a new HCI-as-a-service offering in partnership with Dell EMC, and VMware Site Recovery, a disaster-recovery as-a-service (DRaaS) solution with VMware Cloud on AWS.
- Enhanced management and operations, including a sneak-peek on artificial intelligence and machine learning for HCI through Project Magna.
Driving Digital Transformation
Enterprises and partner organizations alike benefit from HCI as a strategic infrastructure by:
- Reducing costs.
- Improving development environment provisioning times.
- Speeding time to market with innovative services.
More than a year ago, the council, manager and CIO of the City of Las Vegas prioritized providing better public safety services for citizens and visitors. Officials looked to partners NTT Data Services and Dimension Data for guidance. And those experts turned to VMware HCI.
“This was perfect to build a powerful, smart platform on top of [allowing us] to construct smart applications that would solve a variety of challenges — from locating cars going the wrong way on city streets to identifying people of interest,” explains Dave Lyle, vice president, NTT Data Services.
With a relatively small number of cameras and the platform plus dashboards, the team was able to build and get the solution into market very quickly.
Gilmartin opened the session with a quote from Steve Jobs that still resonates today: “Once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.”
The product changing the way today’s organizations build their digital foundations for transformative results tomorrow may very well be VMware Cloud Foundation.