At HDS, we launched our converged offering, the Unified Computing Platform (UCP) four years ago and, while we were not the first show in town, this 'delay' allowed us to build an offering that went beyond the hype of the existing solutions in several unique ways:
- The UCP 4000 was offered with similar feature sets on both VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V. It also offered a choice of IP networking technologies to match customer's procurement/ technology preferences.
- For customers wanting to move away from discrete compute / network/ storage building blocks to converged solutions, the UCP 4000 allowed customers to use their existing storage solutions ~ from HDS or otherwise, thus offering excellent investment protection.
- UCP Director, the orchestration plug-in within UCP 4000 was tightly integrated into vCenter /SCVMM and offered a single platform to meet the customer's virtualized AND bare metal infrastructure requirements.
A short review of the UCP 4000 for VMware solution is available on Duncan Epping's respected blog.
Ever since Gartner enlightened us with the Bimodal IT model two years ago, customers have been seeking to categorize their workloads into these buckets and building separate infrastructure to handle these distinct requirements.
One of the early customers for the UCP4000 ~ a leading financial institution in South Asia was very pleased with the ease of provisioning capabilities of the platform ~ it pushed the needle in terms of efficiency and made their IT teams more responsive to the "time-to-market" pressures of the business. They had more than 200 production virtualized workloads (Mode 2 IT) running on the platform.
Six months after the acquisition of the UCP 4000, the customer sought to expand it's use for their mission critical, PCI-DSS workloads (Mode 1 IT), most of which required bare
metal compute resources, and physical network separation at the Top-of-rack (ToR) layer. This was clearly a post-facto request (indeed, the customer's RFP did not state such a requirement) and, given the rigid constraints imposed by Converged Solution architectures, meeting the request seemed to be a challenge. A second hurdle was the fact that the system was running production workloads, so any disruption of the network layer had to be planned with minimal downtime.
Thinking out-of-the-box, the HDS professional services and product engineering resources worked together address the changes/ modifications needed and in co-operation with the institution's infrastructure team came up with steps to achieve these goals, thus offering them a clean way to optimize their IT investment.
This is a clear demonstration of the UCP 4000's ability to provide true Bimodal IT capability in a single platform.