Converged infrastructure (CI) systems, which combine compute, storage and networking functions for greater efficiency, scalability and flexibility in the data center, are exploding in popularity in the data center. Some estimates project that the CI market will grow to a $33 billion opportunity by 2019.
The benefits of software-defined infrastructure (SDI) and CI systems are significant, but so are the headaches associated with configuration. VARs need specialized skills not only for each piece of hardware used, but also in IT architecture and software compatibility. They need fluency in the multiple languages used by each element of the infrastructure, familiarity with various interfaces and knowledge of how each of the components interacts with the others. Many times, VARs and service providers installing CI solutions require the help of other partners or contractors who are experts in one or more components of the system, diluting their margins.
StrataCloud SDI automates CI configuration, simplifying a process that can be long and frustrating for VARs and service providers. It provides a single interface for design and deployment, even providing an architectural decision tree to serve as an installation guide. The software creates what the company calls an “extensible object graph” that maps both the hardware and the connection points within a data center environment, essentially a reusable blueprint that VARs can leverage for an unlimited number of launches.
The result? StrataCloud claims that SDI Install allows a single individual to complete a CI install end-to-end and reduces the amount of time associated with the deployment of CI systems from over 70 hours to just 60 minutes in testing.
“SDI Install is a game changer for converged infrastructure, as it significantly reduces the number of manual configurations that are required to get a FlexPod up and running,” says Brian Cohen, CEO of StrataCloud. “Our solution provides a streamlined out-of-the-box experience for deploying FlexPod that is fast, easy and consistent. With SDI Install, VARs spend less time installing and more time addressing customer business outcomes.”
As of now, SDI Install supports the FlexPod product lines from Cisco and NetApp, and plans are in the works to support other popular CI systems, according to Cohen. At that point, VARs will be able to mix and match server and storage elements from different vendors to create customized infrastructures for different client use cases. Such a possibility would not only increase efficiency and reduce costs by allowing service providers to source the most cost-effective options, but would also allow VARs to package and brand their own white label infrastructures.