Which Converged Infrastructure solution would have an edge over others?


Comparing the Dell FX2, Dell VRTX, Cisco UCS, Cisco HyperFlex, HPE Synergy; which one would have a clear edge over the others? Given the fact the each one would have a specific use case but for general purpose VMWare based (Windows and RHEL) workload utilizing EMC XtremeIO and Isilon, which one of these would be the best pick in today's time?

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18 Answers
Edwin MartinezReal UserTOP 5

Unfortunately, I don't know if my response would be helpful. None of the solutions named in the question are what I would go with at an Enterprise level. My preference would be the IBM solution at: https://www.ibm.com/storage/learn/converged-infrastructure.
IBM Converged Infrastructure - IBM Storage | IBM<https://www.ibm.com/storage/learn/converged-infrastructure>
Optimize data center agility and economics with a converged infrastructure solution from IBM and Cisco.
www.ibm.com

I don't know if this would fit with what is being asked, but my recent experiences with IBM is that they're more attenuated than in the past, and can deliver much faster AND completely than before - besting most of the other solutions providers where it counts: performance.

06 November 17
UserUser

Nowadays, build you own. Make friends with Red Hat

02 November 17
Timothy KaneVendor

To begin -

Define what "Converged" means to you.

I think people have a differing view of what it actually is. Me personally (My opinion is all here) ... seeing us (The IT Industry) evolve (or devolve some would say) from Mainframe into midrange systems of varying platforms that have survived through the years, into Blades style by design everyone seemed to have aligned to, and into truly converged infrastructure.

Converged Infrastructure by design is "chassis level" with midplane and IO slots which are all interchangeable to every degree to support whatever star mesh environment / technology combos (Eth, FC, FCoE, Infiniband) with a common backbone.

From that point all interoperable systems could be at max thru-put within that mesh framework. Highest speed possible to support the IO Requirements necessary to align the use case to. With those Max level HPC (Hi Performance Computing) by design requirements comes component as well as configuration costs to achieve the expected solution ... of which not everyone will be willing to fund MAX by Design.

Historically:
IBM to date I believe has crafted the ONLY cross-platform Converged Infrastructure ... AIX Chassis Blades that also support Linux OS on Power chipset ... as well as same Linux on X86 Blades. Hitachi had same Chassis X86 Blade structure less the Power Blades, However Hitachi also supported same LPAR technology capable of physical segmentation just like the Power chipset claims for licensing reductions with per proc/core constraints like Oracle, SAP, SQL, DB2, etc.

Today there is a reversion to White Box Blades / Rack footprint style "Hyperconverged" infrastructure that is supposed to be more simplistic ... but reintroduces collossal cable run requirements in comparison to "Converged Chassis"

31 October 17
UserUser

IF a customer is using an existing storage array, such as Isilon or XIO, then there is little benefit to front ending it with a hyper converged solution with the software cost overhead.

The best choice from the ones presented for me would be to front end it with Cisco UCS, effectively making the solution one similar to that you would get from someone like VCE, but obviously without the support wrapper.

31 October 17
Senior Systems Architect with 1,001-5,000 employeesUser

There are in my opinion far too many variables to make a single decision on this question.
It very much depends what type is estate a customer currently has, what skills they have, what use cases and growth plans they have.

31 October 17
Ict GenesisUser

We ended up purchasing Simplivity before HP took over. They appear to be "locking it down" to HP only gear which will most likely mean the death of it. But we were impressed with the ease of use and the technology so we bought it. V-San just seemed too complex in working out options to suit.

31 October 17
Irfan AhmedReal UserTOP 5

i will suggest that you should evaluate Nutanix platform with respect to your work loads. Do not go blindly on marketing gimics of sales guys. In this last quarter of 2017 , Hyper converged is the way forward if your software is supported on it.

31 October 17
Chris HaightReal UserTOP 20

First, you are mixing Converged Infrastructure solutions with HyperConverged Infrastructure solutions. From your writing, looks like you are siding more toward a CI solution; "Cisco UCS , DELL EMC VxBlock" or "DELL EMC FX/FX2s (more a modular infrastructure)", "HPE Synergy".

My first question; are you wanting an HCI solution which generally collapses storage into an appliance like model that scales as you grow? Some HCI allow EXT storage to connect to the ESXi hosts but generally use the local available storage between the nodes pooled as a single DataStore. Less administration and 3rd party hardware here, generally bye bye SAN. There are multiple HCI solutions out there depending on your use case and also GEN 1 and GEN 2 HCI. Gen 2 is what I recommend these days as they are filling the gaps GEN 1 have left - Control performance, true mixed workloads, scaling. Anyway, GEN2, "Cisco HyperFlex, NetApp HCI, VxRail (VSAN 6.6). GEN1: Nutanix (updating to GEN2), Simplivity, VSAN ready Nodes.

If CI is what you are looking for, most are based off of Cisco UCS, "VxBlock, Versa Stack, Pure Stack..." they are all Cisco UCS Compute married with SAN storage, the vendor of your choosing but offer an edge up on all other Converged Infrastructure due to the agility of the Service Profile (an abstraction of the compute configuration; "BIOS, MAC's, UUID's, vHBA WWPN/WWNN etc.") making the underlying hardware invisible to the BareMetal OS applied to it. The Service Profile holds what defined the server configuration and applies it to the hardware it gets associated with.
CI would leverage your current SAN investments as they are today.

HCI is considered the future infrastructure for many reasons and can also utilize your current SAN storage granted you would need to pick GEN2, "Cisco HyperFlex" or "NetApp HCI" (very new and not understood by most).

So, what path first? CI or HCI? then you can drill down into what makes the most sense feature wise to you, your business and what currently exists in the environment.

To add, VRTX is modular satellite office / ROBO / DC in a box. It was built for offices with out a server room / closet. It has built in sound dampening as it may just be thrown under a table / desk.

30 October 17
Social & Digital Director with 501-1,000 employeesUser

We purchased a Simplivity system right before they got bought by HPE. I know HPE is supposed to be trying to integrate that technology with Synergy, but I don’t know where they are on that. We have a small shop with about 30 servers and Simplivity has been great so far. Tough question, as this stuff is cutting edge and there’s a lot of differing opinions about the underlying technologies.

30 October 17
Paraskumar TolaniUser

Dell VRTX would be a good economical solution. What about adding Pivot3 to the solution contenders ?

30 October 17
AasimmsUser

First I would look into a solution with hardware that your team is already familiar with. ExtemIO and Isilon storage are going to be limited to a DELL/EMC solution and most converged solutions do not allow you to add existing storage to their solution. Unless you want to go with Vblock and use EMC's vScale product. Next consider the viability of the vendor. There are some Hyper converged vendors that have not made a profit and are bleeding money. Next look at the level of support you will need and talk to customers in your area. We found that the support we receive in our area from a large vendor is much different from what users in other parts of the country receive. Check Hitachi's UCP system.

30 October 17
Michael ConnVendor

Hveconnexions beats them all 
Www.hveconnexions.com

30 October 17
Jaime G.User

look like you already have you Storage side done, so taking the options that you mentioned, I'll take the FX2. Easy, simple, modular, etc.. Nutanix is great solution but again, look like you already have your storage side ready so probably it's not make sense.

30 October 17
Paul GoldbergUserTOP 20

Any reason why you are not looking at Nutanix - the clear leader in the HCI market.

30 October 17
Jaime G.User

DELL FX2

30 October 17
Bay Magnar EngebraatenVendor

Hi !

I would say our own Lenovo Flex System (https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/data-center/servers/flex-blade-servers/chassis/c/chassis-rack) with a wide variety og SAN, LAN and Compute nodes (x240 and x440 / SN550 and SN850)

https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/data-center/servers/flex-blade-servers/compute-nodes/c/compute-nodes

The the customer can choose the SDDC/Software Define solution that they want to run.

Magnar ☺

30 October 17
Director at a comms service providerReal UserTOP 20

I think the verdict is still out, but I personally would be leaning towards VMware based on a recent presentation I saw from them.

Ed

30 October 17
Erick HernandezUser

Based on the options, i would actually go with HP Simplivity. The Simplivity lines allows for a complete hyperconverged box, with a minimal footprint. Though they claim to be a one stop shop, i would consider having a file level backup for day to day restore and recover points. Simplivity is also very scalable for growing offices.

30 October 17
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