The inherent plug-and-play capability makes easy to expand the system with minimal disruption.
Consolidating the IT infrastructure into a single virtualized system reduces the number of devices, cuts maintenance costs and ensures there are fewer potential points of failure, making systems more resilient. This approach also enables management of the whole infrastructure as a single system using a common tool set.
Using commodity hardware also implies a lower risk of being tied to a particular vendor. At Datacom we recommend the use of Open Compute hardware, which allows mixing components of different manufacturers based on a common specification.
The Open Compute Project is an initiative that has been launched in 2011 by Facebook with the purpose to design and share innovative specifications for better datacenters.
Hardware based on Open Compute specifications starts with a common rack, featuring a centralized power supply shared by all nodes in the rack. Power is distributed by a 12V bus bar on back of the rack. The power supply is composed of several modules, providing redundancy and the possibility to install just the amount of power needed at the moment. Increasing demand can be satisfied by simply plugging in additional modules. A centralized power supply is much more efficient than several smaller power supplies on each node. Also, it is not replaced and discarded when compute nodes are upgraded or storage is added to the rack.
Compute nodes are available in many options with sleds of 2x Xeon E5 in NUMA configuration or sleds of up to 4 independent Xeon D.
Storage blocks can be JBODs and JBOFs (supporting NVMe SSD disks) connected by PCIe interfaces to compute nodes, providing a highly flexible ratio of compute power to storage. Another option is to have one compute node integrated within the JBODs or JBOFs.
Split management and data planes represented by dedicated switches provide reliability, security and performance for the system.
A Software Defined Infrastructure can benefit businesses of almost any size. Smaller enterprises which currently rely on just a few servers providing database, storage and mail are at risk of loss of revenue caused by a major outage if one of those servers fails. Virtualizing and orchestrating those functions, even with only a small number of nodes, gains greater protection against system failure for the business. Large enterprises are able to reduce TCO by using optimized upgrade cycles and increased hardware efficiency. Businesses of all sizes profit from the reduced risk of vendor lock-in and the capability to scale out the infrastructure based on changing demands.
You can find more details about the Open Compute Project on the Open Compute website.