Enterprise Infrastructure

Server, storage, network, virtualization and data protection…
This is the DNA of p1 Technologies.

While some may have you believe traditional infrastructure’s demise is just around the corner, you are likely operating with a datacenter (or two) full of hardware and software systems running mission critical applications, with no immediate plan to completely change this operating model.  At p1 Technologies we understand this. What’s more, we believe that sometimes, on-premises is still the right solution for your enterprise. So while you probably don’t plan to be “100% cloud” any time soon, you may want to optimize existing infrastructure to leverage a hybrid cloud strategy, and you may need to modernize how you deliver IT services to meet the needs of your business. p1 Technologies has the know-how and is committed to the continued support you need to optimize your enterprise infrastructure, today, tomorrow and well into the future.

Virtualization


Server virtualization is of the most valuable innovations in enterprise infrastructure of the last 20 years. Virtualization’s myriad advantages, from consolidation and cost reduction to mobility and flexibility, has made it the foundation of enterprise infrastructure architecture today.

The benefits of virtualization are not limited to servers. Networks, applications, and desktop infrastructure all realize similar cost efficiencies and operational enhancements as a result of being virtualized. However, as with all significant changes, these enhancements bring potential side-effects.

It’s important to understand and plan for the changes virtualization requires in infrastructure, as well as the challenges it introduces, including:

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Physical Hardware

Power, cooling and space requirements are reduced and must be considered to realize the full cost savings of virtualization

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Performance

VM density can overwhelm legacy network and storage systems

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Operations

Process and system management must change and the team must develop new skills

p1 Technologies’ enterprise architects are virtualization experts with hundreds of successful virtualized infrastructure projects in our 10-year+ operating history. Let p1 show you how to get the most out of your virtualized infrastructure.

Software Data Center

The Software Defined Data Center

The next level of functionality that today’s enterprise desires is to be able run its critical applications reliably, anywhere, in any datacenter, and any cloud.  This capability is made possible through virtualization technologies and software-defined platforms deployed at the compute, network, and storage layers, creating a comprehensive, full-stack “infrastructure as a virtualized service” solution known as the Software-Defined DataCenter (SDDC).


Most organizations began the journey towards SDDC at the compute layer a decade ago or more, by turning to hypervisors to virtualize and consolidate workloads, and containers and container orchestration offer a new wave of consolidation, flexibility, mobility, and efficiency for applications.   

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and network virtualization have now made it possible to move the intelligence and functionality typically only available in expensive and proprietary hardware appliances to less expensive, commodity systems.  Features such as automated provisioning, efficient routing, enhanced insight and awareness, and overall, more secure networks are all facilitated with SDN.

Software-Defined Storage abstracts physical resources through a control and data plane. It eliminates traditional low-level administration on elements such as physical media, raid groups, LUNs, etc., cutting the ties that previously bound data to specific, proprietary storage systems. The net result is increased performance at higher utilization levels, with less administration required.

The improvements the software-defined datacenter promises your IT business operations can only be fully realized with careful planning, selection of the right tools and proper training. p1 Technologies’ enterprise architects will ensure your organization realizes all the benefits of the SDDC while avoiding the potential consequences of a poorly planned solution.

Powerful tools can also have negative impacts on operations if not accounted for properly, including:

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Application Performance / User Experience – Both can be impacted without careful planning and policy enforcement to ensure SLA’s are met.
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Management – The abstraction of virtual and software-defined infrastructure can make diagnosing issues difficult. The proper tools, instrumentation, and processes must be in place and validated early in the rollout process.
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Choosing the right technology and the right level of virtualization – This is critical to avoid new challenges that result when advanced or feature rich solutions are implemented.

Converged and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Converged infrastructure (CI) and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) are both systems of pre-engineered units of server, storage and network, combined with a hypervisor and delivered as an integrated product by a single vendor for a turn-key infrastructure solution. While closely related, CI and HCI differ by the building blocks they are constructed from, and most importantly, the infrastructure use cases they are optimized for.

CI solutions typically consist of best-of-breed physical servers and storage systems, with virtualized network and a hypervisor layered on top. While the individual components of a CI solution may not be manufactured by a single vendor, the solution as delivered is fully integrated and supported as a single product.  The turn-key delivery and well-defined, best-of-breed performance characteristics of CI make it an ideal solution for mission-critical applications like ERP and other database workloads.

HCI takes convergence further. It eliminates centralized or component-based storage through a clustered file system backed by local server storage made available to all nodes over an ethernet network. The result is a single, simple unit of management across the hypervisor, compute and storage. The advantage of this abstraction is the flexibility to leverage lower cost commodity hardware beneath the software-defined HCI platform. Further, the fact that server, storage and network are combined on every HCI node, offers simple scaling models and resiliency for component failures. When ease-of-management and flexibility are most important, HCI is a proper solution. Remote offices, dev/test environments, and hybrid cloud application deployments are all good use cases for HCI.

Let p1 Technologies help you decide whether a converged architecture approach is right for your organization, and which, CI or HCI, is the best fit for your requirements.

Scale-Up and
Scale-Out Storage

Enterprise storage solutions have evolved significantly over the last 20 years. Yesterday’s monolithic, proprietary arrays that required a great deal of planning to size and specialized training to manage, have been replaced by software-rich, easy to use solutions that offer much greater flexibility, simple management protocols and far less imposing support models.  

These user-friendly “Storage 2.0” solutions come in two distinct architectures: Scale-Up and Scale-Out. In the simplest terms, “Scale-Up” storage arrays typically have two fixed controllers offering only the option to add storage capacity underlying the controllers. If the required performance or capacity for a given environment grows to exceed the maximum resources in such an array, the system must be scaled-up to the next level of controller, or the controllers must be replaced with more powerful ones.

Scale-Out storage grows in a modular fashion, with capacity, controller and network connectivity combined in each node.  When required performance or capacity are exceeded in an environment with such an array, the system is simply scaled-out by adding nodes to the cluster as required to meet the increased demands.

At first glance, it may seem that the Scale-Out architecture would always be the choice to make for new storage array based on its greater flexibility, but both architectures should be considered before selecting one or the other. p1 Technologies’ enterprise architects are experts in the strengths of both designs and will guide your organization to the right choice of architecture and manufacturer. You can also rely on our world-class storage engineering teams to properly size, deploy and optimize your selected scale-up or scale-out storage solution.

Vanguard Logistics Services
As a strategic technology partner for Vanguard Logistics, p1 Technologies elevated our enterprise architecture at the right price point with exceptional project management, while positioning our company for future digital transformation. It’s great to work with, and learn from, leading experts that can target the CIO’s top missions in DR, Security, Storage, and Cloud technologies. Janet Pucino Chief Information Officer

p1 Technologies’ enterprise architects
are infrastructure experts.

Contact p1 and we’ll design and deploy the right infrastructure for your requirements.