Why Solution providers need to jump onto the HCI bandwagon

If you have been contemplating selling hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) for your solution provider business, here are some reason why you shouldn’t waste anymore time.

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Why Solution providers need to jump onto the HCI bandwagon ((ITP Images))
By  Manda Banda Published  August 20, 2018

IT infrastructure in the Middle East and Africa is undergoing a major makeover, thanks to developments such as software-defined networks (SDN), as-a-service models and hyper-convergence.

The ultimate goal of this change is to centralise and automate as many IT functions as possible. As such, HCI is bespoke for solution providers, managed services providers and systems integrators, whose mission is to centralise management and leverage repeatable processes to minimise downtime for their end customers.

And while not all solution providers have a comprehensive approach to managing and monitoring infrastructure – some customers prefer to retain control of pieces of their networks – you should strive to handle as many components as possible to deliver maximum value to clients.

That’s why channel partners today should seriously consider HCI, which for an increasing number of clients in the various verticals across the MEA geography presents a straightforward, cost-effective approach to managing a company’s infrastructure – or, at least, parts of it, such as storage or networking. If you are still considering selling HCI from the major IT brands or the start-ups that are challenging the old guard, here are some reasons to educate yourself on hyper-converged technology and introduce it to your end clients:

Simplified management

HCI leverages virtualisation technology to place multiple data centre management functions in a turnkey, easy-to-manage appliance. In some cases, a pre-built hyper-converged solution can be deployed as a node in a virtual SAN.

Deployment is simple and typically takes only a few hours because all of the necessary software components are pre-installed and pre-tested. Once in place, the hyper-converged solution gives a channel partner full visibility across the environment and automates routine functions. And increasingly, systems can proactively heal themselves when a failure occurs. For solution providers challenged with so many issues in the day-to-day running of their business, that’s as close to nirvana as it gets.

Central application management

Just about any business app can be run from a hyper-converged environment, with some exceptions for certain high-performance applications. In most scenarios, however, a hyper-converged infrastructure can handle all of a company’s workloads without compromising performance.

The ability to support all of an organisation’s critical apps from a single, centralised platform is undeniably compelling in an area of IT that has traditionally been overrun with silos that add complexity and cost. In a managed services environment for example, uniformity and centralisation are always welcome.

Business agility

The ultimate goal HCI brings in the ongoing infrastructure transformation is to improve operations so businesses can accelerate go-to-market strategies to better respond to the market’s evolutionary shifts. HCI leverages virtualisation and software-defined models to increase flexibility, scalability and therefore, business agility.

Any service provider, systems integrator or solution provider that can facilitate clients’ efforts to boost business agility by managing a hyper-converged infrastructure for them stands to score points on customer retention and loyalty. With that in mind, I challenge channel partners in the Middle East to stop complaining about declining margins on hardware but instead devote most of their time to identifying opportunities to introduce HCI technology to their clients, especially if they are struggling to adapt to new market pressures and need a boost in flexibility and scalability. Let me know your view on HCI and how the technology is opening up opportunities for your channel business.

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