Toigo Partners was approached by a client recently to assist in the evaluation of a storage infrastructure strategy. The client wanted to learn more about the latest software-defined and hyper-converged storage platforms that were appearing in the market, but they were intimidated by the sheer number of vendors and products in that market -- many of whom had appeared almost overnight.
We assisted by. first, making an assessment of the client's workloads, data storage and access patterns, and growth trajectories. We distilled from these requirements a list of capabilities and functions that would be required from storage products that might be placed into service in the client's infrastructure and generated an Request for Information survey that was submitted to multiple vendors. The results were very interesting and led us to broaden the client-directed search and to produce a more generic document for publication, defining the current capabilities of hyper-converged infrastructure products and key selection criteria.
The result of this examination was the document below, published by Virtualization Review in 2016, in connection with a webinar we conducted with them on the topic. In our view, it is equally important for HCI to be hypervisor/workload-agnostic as it is for HCI to be hardware-agnostic. We further suggest that the HCI products you choose need to be fully manageable and interoperable and that their software-defined storage core stacks incorporate robust provisions for integration, tiering, and capacity sharing.
The client was happy, and so were the readers and attendees of our webinar. We learned a lot!