Our Move to Hyperconvergence, Part 2: Gimme that old time religion...
I’ve been working in technology for a long time. Long enough to see hot products and trends come and go. Over the years I’ve noticed the tendency of many in IT to be rather religious about the products they run and the purchasing decisions they make - or at least, the decisions they influence.
When I say ‘religious’, I’m referring to a desire (among some) to recognize a particular product or solution as the only ‘right answer’ in a given technological category. Should anyone be foolish enough to make a different selection, the zealots will point out all the perceived faults in your decision, and of course, your personal faults in making such an uninformed decision. After all, ‘Everyone Knows’ that product X is the best/only/premier solution in this category.
It’s an old-time religion, too. Mac or PC? WordPerfect or Word? (this one lingered on for a long time in the legal community) Netware or NT? More recently, VMware or Hyper-V? Apple or Android? Cloud or on-prem? There are many other examples.
When we began our research into hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) we quickly discovered that this too, is a religious topic. One recent industry report identifies a dozen contenders in HCI, and in our search we looked at products that aren’t even on this chart. Yet, time and again we heard that ‘everyone knows” there’s only one right choice here. All these companies must be doing something right; Conversely, no single one of them is the only ‘true religion’. Everyone knows this.
To help avoid making a religious decision about your HCI solution, be mindful of the easy, preconceived, “everyone knows” answers. If you start with a pre-determined answer don’t be surprised if your questions and needs morph to fit it. Instead, be clear about which problems you are trying to solve. HCI touches many things – compute, storage, virtualization, BC/DR, backup, and hardware maintenance to name a few. Are you expanding an existing hardware farm or looking to upgrade? Are you open to a new hypervisor? Do you intend to use an existing BC/DR and/or backup system, or are you looking to finally implement one? What can you afford?
One size does not fit all. If you are looking for the IBM answer (as in “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”) then you might not ask these questions – it’s likely that you’ve already decided who your IBM is going to be. But, if your goals are driven by questions like those above, you might be surprised by which solutions meet your needs. We certainly were.
Check out the previous post in this series - Our Move to Hyperconvergence - Part 1