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Consolidating Mixed Enterprise Workloads with NetApp HCI

January 16, 2020

Consolidating Mixed Enterprise Workloads with NetApp HCI

NetApp HCI helps organisations consolidate their workloads so that they can enjoy the benefits of increased flexibility and reduced complexity. Here’s how.

Many organisations are concerned about the capabilities of their HCI environments, especially in terms of performance, scalability, data protection, and disaster recovery. 

Fortunately, NetApp HCI provides organisations with the flexibility to scale their infrastructure according to their data centre and unique application requirements. This predictable performance is based on provision of Quality of Service (QoS) controls, guaranteeing minimum and maximum performance by application. This allows you to deliver predictable performance and meet business service level objectives (SLOs).

But how can NetApp HCI support your workloads? Read on to find out.

Why NetApp for HCI?


NetApp HCI supports mixed workloads, meaning your business’ workloads can run together on the same HCI platform. They can also accommodate for the resources they need to run including memory, CPU, and storage. Contention causes unpredictable performance, affecting the delivery of service to the consumer. But QoS gives you the ability to portion performance based on your organisation’s needs, driving desired performance outcomes for each workload.


With NetApp HCI, the granularity of QoS control gives you the flexibility to mix different workloads and control how they consume resources. This is not the case with other HCI solutions on the market today.

The NetApp HCI architecture is designed for workload consolidation and VMware and is cloud-connected. For example, you have the capability to design and deploy your private cloud with NetApp HCI and VMware Private Cloud. This is both a VMware Validated Design (VDD) architecture and a NetApp Verified Architecture (NVA). As a result, your organisation can feel confident that its risks are reduced.

NetApp HCI can scale to 40 storage nodes and 64 compute nodes, so you can scale at the ratio and rate that the application needs for compute and storage. Furthermore, with NetApp HCI, your organisation can benefit from single-vendor support, simplifying your operations.

Open storage model helps to future-proof organisations


Consolidating, simplifying, and automating multiple workloads with different characteristics and profiles helps to reduce complexity in your organisation. NetApp HCI allows your organisation to consolidate performance and apportion it according to different workload requirements.

Since NetApp HCI is built on an open storage model, it can introduce new features and functions with ease. And as it’s cloud-connected, it can meet your organisation’s needs both now and in the future.

NetApp’s Data Fabric delivers consistency of service across your private and public clouds. Completely flash-based, NetApp HCI enables scaling, performance, automation, and cloud connectivity.

Related Read: Enabling Data-Driven Digital Transformation in the UK Public Sector with NetApp HCI

Key use cases for NetApp HCI 


NetApp HCI works seamlessly with
containerised platforms including Kubernetes, OpenShift, and Docker, allowing simple, three-click container deployment. This is essential for high speed, responsive, modern business workloads. One key example of this is DevOps.

With NetApp HCI, your organisation can host its desktops (end-user computing), databases, and server virtualisations. This is because NetApp HCI’s server is heavily based on VMware (including VMware Private Cloud), and has the most comprehensive set of VMware plug-ins. Having said this, it’s also possible to operate outside VMware and run other server virtualisation packages such as Hyper-V, AVM, and Xen. 

Put simply, NetApp HCI provides your organisation with the flexibility to choose its preferred infrastructure and platform to support the workload mix. By consolidating those workloads, your organisation can drive towards a high level of automation.

NetApp HCI makes moving data around simple


For backup purposes, NetApp has strong alliances with third parties including
Veeam and Commvault. NetApp HCI also integrates tightly with the VMware stack, including vRealize management and orchestration, as well as Ansible for configuration management.

With NetApp HCI’s Data Fabric and integration, organisations can move data between cloud environments with ease. NetApp SnapMirror technology provides an agile, flexible, and secure way to transport data between storage systems, protecting your data and improving accessibility. For example, between your private and public cloud in AWS. This is valuable for disaster recovery, development, and testing. 

NetApp HCI offers complete integration with VMware vCenter and is a validated design from the VMware Private Cloud. As a customer, you can rest assured that NetApp HCI will deliver the structure and platform to support your organisation’s needs.

Related Read: How Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Helps to Deliver a Consistent User Experience

Lab Insight: How did NetApp HCI perform?


To recap, NetApp HCI allows organisations to:

  • Consolidate workloads to reduce complexity
  • Achieve predictability across multiple tenants
  • Host their desktops, databases, and server virtualisations
  • Future-proof their operations through cloud-connectivity
  • Move data between cloud environments with ease
  • Embrace their preferred platform and infrastructure


But how does NetApp HCI work in practice?

Evaluator Group put NetApp HCI to the test to assess its capabilities using a variety of typical enterprise workloads and use cases in a hybrid cloud environment.

Request your copy of the in-depth lab insight, ‘Scaling Performance for Enterprise HCI Environments to discover how NetApp HCI performed today.

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Laurence James, NetApp UK

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