If you have been hearing a lot about Hyper-Converged Infrastructure lately, it is because this market has been growing at an explosive rate – 60% annually according to Gartner[i]. Hyper-Converged technology collapses storage and servers into a single system managed as one using HCI software, resulting in cloud-like operational and cost efficiencies.The big story is that with the rapid growth of HCI, the data center is transforming from a traditional three-tiered architecture to a modern and much simpler server-centric architecture. As forecasted by Wikibon[ii], HCI and HyperScale will become the dominant storage technologies in the next 10 years. Traditional storage will not go away, but will gradually become relegated to special workloads.The data center architecture relies on three physically and logically separate sub-systems (servers, shared-storage and storage networks) and has been the hallmark of the data centers for decades. While each of these sub-systems is highly optimized, as a whole this architecture is complex to manage, expensive and unsuitable for competing with today’s cloud services.HCI is changing the data-center architecture dramatically. With HCI, the data center architecture is moving to a singular software-defined system where storage is built into the server and networking functions are increasingly incorporated into the servers. This transformation is enabled by several technological advancements:HardwareCPU densities are increasing towards hexa/octa core systems, enabling servers to perform functions that in the past required single-purpose storage devicesHigh density flash devices at low price points are becoming more prevalent, enabling small foot-print servers with terabytes of built-in storage capacityHigh speed local storage (NVMe/PCIe) and network interconnect (100GB, RDMA), enabling innovative new server architectureSoftwareEmergence of HCI software that integrates virtualized compute resources with management of shared storage based on a common Ethernet network and capable of running any workloadIncorporation of functions that previously required specialized storage subsystems into software that manages and pool resources of the x86-based hyper-converged system stack Customers are transitioning to HCI so rapidly because it cuts traditional three-tier architecture capital cost by 40%[iii] and reduces operating cost by 50%[iv].PowerEdge and VMware vSANDesigned with HCI in mind, the new generation of PowerEdge servers offer 200% more low-latency NVMe drives than prior generation, up to five times total flash storage, and a 25% storage density improvement. The compute performance, storage density and versatility of the PowerEdge platform makes it a perfect match for vSAN.Natively built into VMware vSphere, vSAN manages storage at the VM policy level directly from vCenter. This enables VM admins to manage storage with virtually no additional training. With enterprise-class storage capabilities including compression, de-duplication and erasure coding, you can use vSAN for demanding business critical applications. And uniquely, you can also encrypt data at rest with no need for specialized drives.In contrast to slow-to-adopt lower-volume traditional storage, with vSAN and PowerEdge servers, you no longer need to wait for new storage innovations. High-volume server-economics bring you new technologies, like NVMe and 3D XPoint non-volatile memory, immediately when they become available on the servers.Buy or Build: You ChooseWith a choice of buy or build solutions, your transformation to server-centric data center is dramatically easier. If you need to move quickly and are looking for the best TCO, you can choose VxRail. Dell EMC VxRail is a vSAN-powered HCI appliance built on PowerEdge servers. Pre-built and pre-configured with hundreds of discreet configurations to choose from, VxRail offers both flexibility and convenience.If you have the skills and the resources, choose the Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes – certified vSAN configurations for PowerEdge servers.The transition to a modern server-centric software defined data center is a “once in a generation” transformation; one designed to simplify, modernize and bring more agility to the data center. The new generation of PowerEdge servers will make this new architecture all the more compelling._______________________________________________________________________________________(Additional assistance by Jeff Christy, VMware Product Manager, Dell EMC)[i] Forecast Analysis: Integrated Systems, Worldwide, 1Q17 Update, Gartner[ii] Wikibon Server SAN Research Project, 2016[iii] Based on a study by VMware[iv] Based on IDC report, Reviewing the Current State of Hyperconvergence and Real World Benefits of VMware Virtual SAN Deployments, July 2016.
Let’s go on a fantastic journey today, a trip into one of the endless parallel worlds described by quantum mechanics (you’re familiar with the paradox of Schrödinger’s cat, which is simultaneously alive and dead). Many things in this world remain the same, yet many others are quite different. It could be that the sidewalks are pink and we keep squirrels as pets.Now imagine that banks in this parallel world are the role models of customer communication. They prepare a dashboard for you. It delivers more than just information on your bank transactions. It can also display your prospects of success in investment scenarios and affordable peer-to-peer loans. If you want, you can even set up the dashboard to warn you before you make spontaneous, unnecessary purchases (like an 8K television or a handbag and matching shoes, for example).In this parallel world, your bank provides you with recommendations such as changing your Internet provider to a more affordable competitor that offers better services for less each month. It can suggest subscribing to Netflix, for example, because you enjoy going to the movies and your bank account balance allows for it. Or it recommends adding the Hi-fi service by Spotify because you just purchased a high-quality stereo system. The bank will immediately provide an explanation of any fees or service charges that you question.And your insurance company won’t seem stiff and formal in this parallel world. An intelligent chatbot will contact you immediately in the event of an incident and arrange for a quick payment once the details have been clear up. Gone are the days that you have to spend months chasing down your insurance payout. Your insurance company can automatically apply the brakes of the car if you’re behind the wheel and your smartwatch registers heart palpations and other disquieting values, because your insurance company fears you might pass out. It just prevented serious damage that could have cost a lot of money, and worse yet, loss to human life. It can alert the police as someone attempts to break in to your home. And if the humidity or temperature in your home rises, it can inform a repair company to check in on your home.Banks and insurance companies are your friends and helpers in this parallel world. And everyone benefits from this relationship. You receive better services, enjoy excellent communication, and benefit from affordable rates, and the service providers cut costs, improve customer loyalty, and expand their offering.This scenario seems quite fanciful from today’s perspective, yet the technology we have available today would enable all of these innovations. There is nothing standing in the way of banks and insurance companies becoming better service providers. We already have technologies such as artifical intelligence (AI), big data, Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, robotics, machine learning, and many, many others and we can implement them at any time. Just as an aside, Dell uses all of these technologies and offers numerous products and solutions based on them.Of course, we don’t need to implement everything just because we can. Providers should take careful steps to consider which data they need to use based on their business ethics. Protection of personal data has absolute priority and it is the measure of all things. Nevertheless, many banks and insurance companies are already using innovation solutions provided by Dell EMC in order to cut costs, streamline processes, automate evaluations, improve sales of products, get to know customers better, or simply become more agile, just like Crédit Agricole, the Bank of Ireland UK, and China Citic Bank are doing.Granted, transformation is not always that easy, and some companies experience fatigue along the way. It’s not only the IT that needs to implement the changes; the security, the organization, and even the culture of the institution need to change. What’s more, there are many people involved, like the CEO, CIO, the various departments, the IT team, and many internal users and external customers and partners. And there are other factors to consider, like transparency, scalability, maintenance aspects, customer orientation, and absolute flexibility in order to ensure that all bases are covered.Transformation in our parallel world is easy; however, in the real world the banks and insurance companies need a strong partner. But don’t worry, we’re here for you.P.S.: If you don’t subscribe to the concept of parallel worlds and whatnot, you’re in good company. Even Albert Einstein rejected quantum mechanics in his lifetime. He was particularly perturbed by the fact that information (such as quantum entanglement) appeared to travel faster than the speed of light, something that he had already proven was impossible. He famously called it ‘spooky action at a distance’. But no matter what, quantum mechanics is real.
BLOOMINGDALE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a shooting during a large gathering at a suburban Chicago hotel left one man dead and several other people wounded. Police in Bloomingdale said officers who responded about 2:35 a.m. Saturday to a report of shots fired on the fifth floor of the Indian Lakes Hotel saw several people fleeing. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the medical examiner’s office identified the person killed as 27-year-old James McGill Jr., of Chicago. Bloomingdale Public Safety Director Frank Giammarese says the shooting occurred during “some type of large get-together” among hotel guests. He says investigators are still piecing together what happened.