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Hyper-convergence


 The SMB Owner's Guide to Ensuring Your Success With Hyperconvergence

Hyperconvergence is the newest IT architecture that removes both the cost and the complexity of the virtualization infrastructure. This article assumes that you are aware of the benefits of over-convergence and how it applies to your small to medium-sized business.


 What we are going to discuss is how to make sure you get the real benefits from hyper-converging on what all these glorious marketing papers say you can.


A small to medium-sized business (SMB) does not just mean a tiny kiosk in a mall that has only a single cash register computer. We are talking about SMBs in terms of between 50 and 500 employees with an IT team of up to 5 full-time or part-time employees.


There are many claims about over-convergence technologies. At the top of the list are cost reductions. He also claims that this is a simpler environment for your IT team - increasing productivity. As a business owner, what questions do you need to ask to ensure that the hard-earned capital is put to good use?


Among all the claims there are 5 things you need to look for in an over-conversion solution to ensure that your solution will bring to your business everything it can.


Vendors in solution

One of the claims of over-convergence is the simplification of the solution. This can be achieved by eliminating the multiplicity of vendors that are part of a traditional virtual solution. 


Does this solution include several vendors? Where does the beginning and personal responsibility of each provider begin? Will you need multiple support contracts or is everything covered by a single parent contract? Is there a key support number to call or is it possible to point a finger between different manufacturers? 


Is this solution the intellectual property of one company or are there different licensing agreements? How can this affect your investment in the event of a manufacturer's bankruptcy?


Licensing

The initial installation of the solution is probably the right size for your business. What happens if you need to expand the installation? If you need more virtual servers or to add more users, will there be an additional license fee (Vmware)? What about annual maintenance fees that will also increase?


 What if we expand and I want to add virtual servers in another location? Are my licenses "rated" or are they more expensive because of additional functionality or when I get to a particular license count? 


These are not necessarily deal-breakers but pre-warned are pre-armed. It certainly helps to get a reliable idea about licensing costs when budget time rolls around.


expansion

Hyperconverged solutions come in all shapes and sizes. There are various solutions for dozens of virtual servers and several hundred virtual servers. What you have is not as important as the answer to the question Is the solution extensible? 


Does the solution have the ability to cover your business as it grows without the scary "elevator upgrade" that means shutting down your business's profit centres. 


In addition to that if it can be upgraded does it involve downtime? Can your sales department sell while the upgrades are taking place?


installation

Sure everyone will be more than happy to install this beast after you sign the dotted line but how complex is the installation? Can we operate on existing systems and minimize downtime during installation?


 How complex is the transition to the new systems (transferring VMs or data easily)? Can your IT team oversee the installation? Is it easy enough that they can do it themselves just with a little guidance? Can your team expand the system or will you need outside help?


Ease of use

Now that we have it and everything is running how hard is it to raise my IT team to product speed? Is there another tutorial that will take my team off the site to learn how to use this product?


 Once I coach my team am I in danger of losing them to a competitor who is willing to pay more for these certifications? When we add more virtual servers to the environment will my team be able to do that?


 How hard is it and how long will it take? Since my staff is not as big as some of the big ones, how hard is it to cross a train?


Summary

Over-convergence is an amazing leap forward for IT virtualization. Designed and implemented to the right extent it promises a lot for small to medium businesses. But like most things in life one size does not necessarily fit all.


 Spending money wisely requires due diligence. Make sure the business squeezes all the value you paid for from this solution. Addressed questions regarding the installation of licensing systems and ease of use.


Contact the manufacturers and ask the solution provider the next step questions in this article. This will ensure you enjoy the advertised benefits while getting the exact solution for the benefit of your business now.


Stanton is the solutions architect for the AR Consultants Group. With over 20 years of experience in storage consulting in the field of backup and restoration of DR's design and storage work, he writes and offers a product to both small and medium-sized customers.


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