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The benefits of hyper converged infrastructure and how power management can support HCI environments

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is an IT framework that seeks to lower costs and increase agility. In the triumvirate of technologies that make up HCI – storage, computing and network – backup power is the unsung hero.

By partnering with the leading HCI providers, Eaton can offer UPSs (uninterruptible power supplies) and PDUs (power distribution units) – along with the power management platforms to manage them – to support all the servers in your HCI environment.

What is HCI?

Hyperconverged infrastructure is a technological advancement for data center architecture. Like its similarly named precursor, converged infrastructure (CI) and HCI both aim to decrease the cost of deployment and operations while simplifying data center management. The two systems differ in a few significant ways, though.

HCI is software-defined. Mostly run on off-the-shelf x86 servers, HCI uses smaller building blocks of virtualized computing, storage and networking to create a robust environment, meaning they are more maneuverable and cost-efficient to build out.

The benefits of hyper converged infrastructure

  • Scalability: Add capacity when you need it. Add performance where you need it. Scale-out old resources when you don’t need them. HCI makes it easier and more cost-effective than buying huge blocks of infrastructure every few years.
  • Compatibility: You don’t have to waste a precious minute researching vendors and platforms to make sure your hardware gets along. HCI brings together key IT system components into one box, or system, that’s managed through a software layer.
  • Efficiency: HCI is like building with Lego blocks. Which means you can build a virtual server compute environment yourself — ideal for companies without giant mega-data centers. HCI helps reduce storage space and bandwidth.
  • Adaptability: With HCI, you get exactly what you need in one box – no matter your specific needs. So, you can go from zero to having a powerful, feature-rich, virtual server environment in a day.
  • Mobility: People are totally mobile these days. Shouldn’t their data and apps be? HCI also creates greater mobility in workloads and applications by centralizing management instead of centralizing hardware.

Eaton power management solutions further enhance HCI environments

The advantages of HCI technology are impressive, but HCI doesn’t come without risks. Power disruptions are even more detrimental in condensed and virtualized IT environments. Every server needs more power and flexibility which instantly shifts the power demands on existing infrastructure, and the reality is that these infrastructures are often improperly provisioned and therefore lack an adequate power management strategy.

Eaton’s industry-leading power protection products are the ideal way to safeguard HCI systems because the total backup power solutions are built for and aimed at companies adapting to the latest technologies.

Eaton’s strategic partnerships with the leading HCI providers are part of those safeguarding solutions and can further enhance and simplify data center management. These strategic partnerships ensure vendors have verified that Eaton’s UPSs, PDUs and Intelligence Platform are compatible with their infrastructure, which saves time and money and reduces risk from deployment through the lifespan of equipment. With ever-growing responsibilities and ever-present IT fire drills, Eaton has focused on designing solutions that enable IT professionals and data center managers to manage power remotely. Eaton's Intelligent Power Manager (IPM), in particular, is easy to use and its comprehensive automation approach keeps systems online, intelligently resolves issues, and enables companies to get the most out of their power devices.

The Eaton Intelligence Platform supports HCI

The Eaton Intelligence Platform is the partner your HCI system needs. Ready to scale as your environment does, Eaton's platforms work to automate, monitor and visualize problems before they strike. 

Eaton offers three power management platforms designed to meet the needs of your specific HCI application. 

Intelligent Power Manager (IPM)

IPM allows users to gain control of HCI infrastructures from anywhere with:

  • Policy-based remediation. Trigger advanced actions like migrating a virtual machine during specific power and environmental events with the only policy-based automatic remediation solution for power devices.
  • Intelligent resolutions. Leverage Eaton’s integrations with industry leaders (like Cisco, Dell EMC, HPE, Microsoft, NetApp, Nutanix, VMware and more) to keep critical applications running and automate resolutions for your entire network rather than settling for server-by-server shutdown and potential downtime.
  • Extended UPS battery runtime. Migrate workloads to increase system uptime and minimize generator load by suspending non-critical virtual machines.
  • Strategic power consumption. Power cap servers to keep critical loads running longer by limiting server power consumption.

Visual Power Manager (VPM)

VPM allows users to monitor the entire power infrastructure for your HCI environment so you can:

  • Gain vendor agnostic insight. Monitor a mixed environment through VPM’s unique protocol-based data collection.
  • Know what’s coming. Analyze power devices visually and get notified ahead of replacement through custom reports that analyze the data and identify trends so you don’t have to.
  • Get real-time, rack-level statistics. Quickly remediate through up-to-the-minute analytics, notifications and alarms for events like a rack losing redundancy or power coming in exceeding what any branch can support.
  • Plan for your deployments. Better deploy new equipment and ensure each rack is optimized through floor layout and rack builder visualizations for your environment.

Visual Capacity Optimization Manager (VCOM)

Visualize every aspect of your HCI deployment with VCOM, so you can:

  • See it all. Monitor and manage every aspect of your operation from utility entry down to your virtual machines.
  • View your data center in 3D. Leverage 3D renderings to identify problem areas at all levels of the data center and across the enterprise.
  • Think ahead. Digitally deploy your projects using “what-if” scenarios to forecast and assure sufficient capacity for upcoming projects.
  • Monitor power in less time. Access all monitoring features from Eaton’s Visual Power Manager (VPM) within the VCOM platform, including infrastructure monitoring, rack-level analytics and automatic escalation.
If you are planning a HCI deployment, make sure it includes a highly resilient power management solution. The interoperability between Eaton and HCI infrastructures lowers operating costs, simplifies power management and ensures business continuity.

Eaton solutions at work in hyperconverged infrastructure

When CityServiceValcon wanted to update their power infrastructure to support their new HCI system, they were looking for two things: UPS capacity and power products that could work with their Nutanix servers. So they chose Eaton.