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2017-10-20T15:27:00Z
PeerSpot user
Head - Server and Storage at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
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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?

18
PeerSpot user
18 Answers
PeerSpot user
Director, IT & Operations at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Consultant
2017-11-06T18:16:55Z
06 November 17

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
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.

Search for a product comparison in Converged Infrastructure
Vendor
2017-11-02T12:15:39Z
02 November 17

Nowadays, build you own. Make friends with Red Hat

PeerSpot user
Owner at IBM Global Technology Services
Vendor
2017-10-31T23:04:41Z
31 October 17

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"

Vendor
2017-10-31T10:36:43Z
31 October 17

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.

it_user510645 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Systems Architect with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
2017-10-31T09:08:38Z
31 October 17

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.

2017-10-31T05:00:22Z
31 October 17

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.

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PeerSpot user
Network,Systems & DCV Specialist at a university
Vendor
2017-10-31T04:54:06Z
31 October 17

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.

PeerSpot user
Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
MSP
2017-10-30T20:46:29Z
30 October 17

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.

it_user592077 - PeerSpot reviewer
Social & Digital Director with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
2017-10-30T17:09:19Z
30 October 17

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.

it_user753306 - PeerSpot reviewer
Consultant
Vendor
2017-10-30T16:43:13Z
30 October 17

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

it_user694317 - PeerSpot reviewer
Architect at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
2017-10-30T16:37:59Z
30 October 17

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.

PeerSpot user
Partner at Hewlett-Packard
Vendor
2017-10-30T15:55:30Z
30 October 17

Hveconnexions beats them all 
Www.hveconnexions.com

it_user476880 - PeerSpot reviewer
Director at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Consultant
2017-10-30T14:39:13Z
30 October 17

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.

it_user219063 - PeerSpot reviewer
CEO at Alturna-Tech
User
2017-10-30T14:25:06Z
30 October 17

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

it_user476880 - PeerSpot reviewer
Director at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Consultant
2017-10-30T13:44:47Z
30 October 17

DELL FX2

it_user586671 - PeerSpot reviewer
Sales Engineer on System x and ThinkServer x86 at Lenovo Global Technology Norway AS
Real User
2017-10-30T13:18:37Z
30 October 17

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 ☺

PeerSpot user
Director at a comms service provider
Vendor
2017-10-30T12:53:31Z
30 October 17

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

it_user728214 - PeerSpot reviewer
Unified Communications Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
2017-10-30T12:16:01Z
30 October 17

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.

Related Questions
Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Community Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Dec 14, 2021
Hi community, How does hyper-converged differ from converged? Is one better than the other?  When would one choose converged, rather than hyper-converged? Are there pros and cons to each type of solution?
2 out of 5 answers
Satish Dg - PeerSpot reviewer
It service manager at cerebra
12 August 20
converged infrastructure still incorporates hardware, running the technology natively on hardware. On the other hand, hype convergence is fully software-defined and completely integrated
Steffen Hornung - PeerSpot reviewer
Administrator at Neuberger Gebäudeautomation GmbH
12 August 20
Oh, you cant get rid of hardware in any way. (damn you Apple for auto-correcting english back to german). But it is true that hci is a software defined approach which has the advantage of delivering new features without new hardware. Another thing that destinguishes hyperconerged solutions from converged ones is the scale-out nature: simply add more nodes to the system to support new workloads without losing performance because you add all types at once (compute, storage and networking).
Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Community Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Oct 26, 2021
From my own research, it seems that Converged Infrastructure relies on hardware, whereas Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is software-based. What does this mean in practical terms? What are the pros and cons of each?
2 out of 11 answers
PeerSpot user
Co-Founder, Chairman & Digital Transformation Consultant at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
18 June 20
In principle you’re right “Converged Infrastructure relies on hardware, whereas Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is software-based”. But there are further advances for software management of containers, VMs, storage, and networks within a single architecture. As a Red Hat partner, we are aware of coming developments based on Red Hat OpenShift which significantly simplify operations and provide complete management and portability across On-Prem, Hybrid, and Multi-Cloud environments.
it_user567912 - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner and CEO at Bitcon
18 June 20
Also in a converged infrastructure software is important. Converged for me is a combination of hardware components that are sold as a single solution and where a software layer is added to make the management easier. But the hardware solution consists mostly from individual server, storage and networking components.Most hyperconverged solutions goes further with integrating the storage layer into the server layer, removing a layer of hardware, and where the software inside the solution create a shared storage pool for the server stack. Automatically the management layer is also simplified just as with the converged solution... Less hardware (or differently used) and more software inside... I call it more a typical evolution of IT infrastructure... Know that converged and hyperconverged is a marketing thing and not really a product as such... I saw converged and hyperconverged solutions already 20 years ago before it even existed... Just look for what you need and pick the right solution... 
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