Cisco’s Next Gen Data Center – IT’S ALL IN THE SAUCE

Akron Hyperconverged Data Center image

Does your data center have the secret sauce?  Does it have that special ingredient that creates a simple and thorough solution?  Does the following list describe your data center?

  • One IT Platform for all its needs
  • Data Resiliency
  • Scalability without complexity
  • Business Continuity
  • Data Redundancy
  • Centralized Management
  • A fiscally responsible solution
  • Predictable optimal performance

Where do you begin when you want to upgrade and simplify the IT needs of a county-wide organization?

TEC Communications recently designed and installed the first Cisco hyperconvergence solution for an Ohio public library system.  And, it all began as everything begins at TEC — by listening to our customer.  From conversations about voice upgrades and servers emerged the clear request for a simpler IT solution.

What needed simplifying?

Imagine the annual IT needs of a library system that:

  • Spans multiple physical and mobile locations
  • Serves over two million visitors
  • Tracks almost five million borrowed items
  • Houses over four hundred public internet computer with over one million logins
  • Offers a mobile app with over two million uses

Add to that IT infrastructure the daily usage of the library’s dedicated employees.  What could TEC offer that met the system’s current requirements while also giving the library an infrastructure that could scale to changing network, storage, computing, and security needs?

One System

What the Library needed was a data center that could manage traditional enterprise and cloud applications, as well as apps for big data and analytics.

Specifically, TEC suggested the Next Generation Cisco HX Data Platform to fulfill the Library’s needs and to provide consistency for its many mission-critical services.  Per Rich Boehm, Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), “HyperFlex is based on UCS switch fabric, so Cisco customers can adopt hyper-converged technology – for the applications where it is a fit – and still continue to operate the other forms of infrastructure they need, all without creating new management silos.”

HyperFlex moves an IT system from multiple manufacturers and multiple accountabilities into one storage system and one manufacturer.  TEC placed a check mark next to all of the library’s requests while also delivering a hyper-converged infrastructure powered by VMWare and VCenter Management Platforms.

 

 

Why did TEC recommend Cisco’s HyperFlex?

Performance

Cisco’s HyperFlex is the highest performing hyperconvergence platform. Its high capability all-flash nodes and UCS switch fabric  provide the highest IOPS and the lowest read/write latencies in the industry.

Manageability

From a single dashboard, engineers can manage the compute, storage, and network layers of multiple site locations. This also narrows troubleshooting and upgrades to a single manufacturer to contact as well.  With HyperFlex, the library is able to host its own private cloud, available to any user, on its own infrastructure.

Scalability

The HyperFlex solution also balances the library’s need to adapt and expand its IT requirements.  It offers scalability without complexity.  Need more compute power?  Easily add CPUs.  Need more storage?  Easily add more disk space.  The library can mix and match to meet their short-term and long-term strategic objectives.  With the HyperFlex node structure, the library was able to add legacy SANs, while still being prepared for any scale, any app, and any cloud to roll out in the future.

What’s the secret sauce?

The secret sauce is the software in the HyperFlex that pulls all the pieces and parts together.  The data is gathered across the clusters.  Then, it is striped and rebalanced across the arrays with a replication factor of three, RF3.  This redundancy provides essential data resiliency and business continuity.  HyperFlex also gives the library’s engineers a rearview look at IT functionality as well as predictive capabilities.  Hyperconvergence isn’t just a word – it’s a solution.

The end result is that the library’s choice of a hyperconvergence solution created long-term elastic capabilities.  This library system, like every library, is so much more than books.  It is an integral part of the community and it is often the secret sauce impacting a community’s quality of life.  With the HyperFlex solution, TEC Communications designed and installed an IT system that the library can use as it supports, improves and enriches individual, family and communal life.

Chris Harris

Systems engineer.
Spartan. (Go MSU!)
Ironman (2.4 miles, 112 miles, 26.2 miles. 3 times.)