Red Hat moves into remote offices with Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Red Hat's new Hyperconverged Infrastructure brings datacenter capabilites into your branch offices.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

What's the logical next step for software-defined networks, software-defined storage, and the like? The software-defined data center of course. That's what Red Hat is bringing to market today in its Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure.

This is a production-ready, open-source hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) software stack. This is a software-centric architecture, which tightly integrates compute, storage, networking, and virtualization resources to help enterprises bring data center capabilities into branch offices and other remote facilities.

The public cloud is all well and good, but companies with distributed operations, such as banking, energy, or retail businesses, need the same speedy infrastructure services in remote and branch offices that their main-offices get from their data centers. Delivering these cloud-in-a-box services are easier said than done.

Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure addresses these challenges by integrating compute and storage together on a single server or a small cluster of servers. It enables organizations to deploy and manage distributed infrastructures centrally. This, in turn, gives remote locations high-performing systems without expert, on-site support staff.

Other companies, such as Nutanix and VMware, beat Red Hat to the market with their HCI software packages, but Red Hat claims its stack is the only production-ready offering with an entirely open-source design that' s developed, sold, and supported by a single vendor. In addition, Red Hat states that it's "open source, community-based approach helps to avoid the vendor lock-in of a proprietary approach and enables customers to take advantage of the faster innovation emerging from open-source communities."

To accomplish this, Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure is built with a suite of solid Red Hat software components. These are integrated to provide a unified experience from installation to management. These include:

  • Red Hat Virtualization - The company's award-winning Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)-powered enterprise virtualization platform.
  • Red Hat Gluster Storage - Highly scalable software-defined storage that can be converged on the same hardware as Red Hat Virtualization hosts, removing the need for additional compute infrastructures and simplifying deployment.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The world's leading enterprise Linux platform offers a stable and reliable foundation.
  • Ansible - Deployment and management built on the leading simple, powerful, and agent-less open-source DevOps framework. This provides automated installation and configuration from a central point.

This packaging up of Red Hat's core infrastructure systems makes a great deal of sense. As Terri McClure, senior analyst for the Enterprise Strategy Group, said in a statement, "The integrated systems market continues to grow with hyperconverged platforms becoming a larger and larger portion therein. Remote and branch office installations can be challenging for enterprises to equip from an IT perspective and are well-suited for hyperconverged offerings. Red Hat's entry with Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure is a promising start and well timed as more and more customers are looking for a hyperconverged solution which can address their remote site challenges as well as lay the groundwork for software-defined future directions."

This makes sense to me. Every since I started working in IT in the 80s, small businesses or businesses with branch offices wanted easy-to-run, all-in-one solutions for their needs. Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure answers those business needs for inexpensive, easy deployment, and management IT for the 21st century.

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