technology refresh


In a world that’s evolving at breakneck speed, your business needs to join the digital transformation. Technology refresh is the periodic replacement of IT equipment to ensure continuous reliability, sustainable and agile data center infrastructure is in place that addresses improved density, performance and scalability. Unlock the data center’s legacy constraints, containment, its demands on the environment and impact on space, natural resources and your business.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Hyperconverged Infrastructure Solution:

While iStormCloud is the only TRUE HCI solution. HCI is an emerging technology and every day we observe breakthrough innovation in solutions offered by multiple original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). OEMs use component parts bought from other organizations to make devices. Before determining which HCI solution is best for your business, it is important to work through the key factors and features important for your unique environment. I’ve outlined some of the key features and common requirements to help you get started.

  1. Downsizing: The most important component of a HCI solution is the ability to downsize the data center, maximize each rack deployed, eliminate cable sprawl.

  2. Flexibility: The last thing anyone wants is to add another silo or layer of complexity to their infrastructure. When assessing HCI platforms also assess its flexibility. Can you add compute only nodes, storage, GPUs with ease? Does the software layer require add-on 3rd party elements like backup, replication, security, etc.? These are critical for specialized applications like ELK or different databases, VDI, ML or AI. The ability to support multiple hypervisors and containerized applications is also critical for modern data centers. The iPulse OS on iStormCloud allows for products like Nutanix or VMWare to ride on top of the appliance as a “guest”. Finally, ensure  compute nodes can be shared across HCI applications, non-hyperconverged nodes can connect to storage, and that there is support for mounting external storage on an HCI node.

  3. Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and Total cost of ownership (TCO): The IRR is the net rate of return which equals the Net Present Value (NPV) of the cash flows to zero. Z-IMPACT iStormCloud Ecosystem is would recover the total businesses current CAPEX and OPEX investment each year of operation. IRR Payback of reclaiming the current infrastructure (land, building, internal equipment) starting in the 1st year and actual return an amazing surplus over a 5-year investment, providing infrastructure agility and free up millions… as a positive cash flow to allocate to other business refinements. Then there is the total cost of ownership (TCO) to consider. TCO it is important to estimate total cost of ownership for any solution you intend to purchase. Two critical points of consideration are pricing and licensing. Be wary of opting for a cheap upfront solution, only to discover the high cost of additional features support and continued support for year two and year three. Look for a complete solution and effective pricing with support over three to five years.

  4. Management: A distributed data center can be complex environment to manage.  Z-IMPACT iMesh Agility allows for seamless provisioning of core workloads - no longer will your data center be static. Cloud services will come from multiple sources, and the growth of edge computing driven by IoT and mobile workloads can drive management complexity from multiple vendors requiring current IT staffing levels to be driven beyond what is possible. The result is that enterprises often end up with multiple management solutions for different data center infrastructure needs and require increased staffing levels. This not only complicates management, monitoring, and troubleshooting capabilities but adds up to significant costs. Z-IMPACT eliminates this confusion via iCanvas Artificial Intelligence (AI) a cloud-based tool enabling technologists to deploy the right infrastructure solution for each workload while managing them from anywhere. This ensures connected support, automation of core time consuming tasks, and consistency across data centers. The business benefits are twofold: less time spent managing infrastructure and reduced costs as applications are run in their ideal environment, on-premises or in the cloud.

  5. Performance: Look for consistency, VM density, low latency, and scalability supported by HCI solutions. Z-IMPACT iStormCloud is typically 30x the performance of comparable solutions. Carefully size when comparing solutions as some OEMs often need significantly more hardware for the same workload as they do not have effective compression and de-duplication features in their solutions. A common mistake is ignoring network performance – a high performance network offering low latency and high bandwidth is one of the critical factors for success in an HCI deployment. This is due to the large amounts of network traffic generated by an HCI system.

  6. Resiliency: Enhanced resiliency ensures business application operational availability and continuity, even in event of node, disk, site, and software failures. Look for zero RPO and near-zero RTO high-availability for business-critical applications. Also important is a full set of enterprise data management features such as snapshots, thin provisioning, replication for disaster recovery and backup, data encryption, integration, instant and space-efficient cloning. A claim of 100% availability means 100%, built-in to the HCI ecosystem. Many other HCI systems need many 3rd party tools and site vendor complexity.

  7. Scalability: Can it scale compute independently from storage and mix and match compute-only nodes? To have true scalability, you need not only an advanced scaling solution, you need replication software, DR/BCP capabilities and infrastructure agility that is native to Z-IMPACT software, to ensure you can scale not only across a physical solution we need to scale across regions or countries or theaters of operation as well in geographic synchronicity, interconnected as a single-pane-of-glass whether you are on-premise, in the cloud (private or public) or utilize a hybrid cloud.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure vs. Converged Infrastructure

Download a market comparison matrix here

Cisco HyperFlex - Cisco claims HCI, however in their definition the call it a platform (an aged definition since changed). HyperFlex indicates a stretched cluster capability (cluster of three components – cannot stand on their own); their HyperFlex Edge ROBO are compute and converged compute/storage nodes. Customers indicate other areas of needed improvement are Cisco backup and disaster recovery are areas for improvement. Therefore it is converged. Cisco is the closest enterprise solution to Z-IMPACT on the market contained within in a tightly coupled cluster, but under the hood all the underlying hardware is all converged.

Dell - Powered by VMware vSAN and Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, VxRail requires a larger footprint, higher acquisition costs, more OPEX expense and just a more costly TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). Typical HCI manages all scaled deployments, VxRail Manager cannot manage multiple clusters; this is not a scalable approach. VMWare is listed as one of the top contenders but oddly enough VMWare just brings a piece of HCI not a solution unless connected to Dell or Z-IMPACT appliances. Another major flaw is VxRack Flex foundation is based upon ScaleIO which lacks key enterprise features: replication, de-duplication and native compression. Dell relies purchased 3rd Party Software to deliver functionality at a price. Dell provides pieces but not a complete, functional, scalable solution.

HPE - HPE Acquired SimpliVity to get into the HCI market. HPE SimpliVity is a low-end solution running on HPE ProLiant DL380 (converged), is not Enterprise grade,  and has limits on scalability – caps 8 cluster-nodes and 16 network nodes. HPE OmniStack compression and de-duplication require a Accelerator Card (cost) to virtualize workloads not SDx. Backup is also based on old technology snapshot and cloning. Their definition they also call it a platform (an aged definition since changed). While HPE has some HCI characteristics the underbelly of the solution is converged.

Nutanix - Nutanix is not part of a tightly integrated solution. They list themselves as a SDS (Software-Defined Storage). Its software clearly can run on OEM’d hardware Dell-EMC (Nutanix XC), IBM (Nutanix CS), Lenovo (Nutanix HC) and Nutanix can even run as a “GUEST SERVICE” on Z-IMPACT iStormCloud HCI ecosystem. But, Nutanix is not HCI unless it runs on Z-IMPACT appliances. At the end of the day Nutanix uses some HCI technology, but it is an incomplete solution and runs on 3rd party hardware that proclaims HCI but is converged – therefore they are converged. Here is a side by side comparison of Nutanix and Z-IMPACT.

Z-IMPACT Offers the Only True Hyperconverged Infrastructure Solution

Z-IMPACT is the only complete, “True HCI Solution” that offers a hyperconverged ecosystem on the market today. iStormCloud is tightly integrated with “Compute, Memory, Storage, Network and Virtualization”, in such neither can function without the other per the true definition of HCI – it’s an HCI Ecosystem Appliance.

Due to our tightly integrated iStormCloud HCI Ecosystem Z-IMPACT offers clients true enterprise scalability, unmatched density, unmatched ease of provisioning, an unmatched and hardened operating system with security built-in, software services to meet or exceed GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation), Hi-Trust HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), PCI (Payment Card Industry), and more.

Z-IMPACT offers an incredible cloud engine that not only can provide you with hybrid cloud, we use the same cloud engine in the iStormCloud E7000 in our cloud to ensure you have sync, async and host based replication solutions to ensure your business survivability, not just in the four walls of a data center, or a region, we give you a true global resilience and presence – global synchronicity of all deployed ecosystems!

Z-IMPACT Cuts Planned Downtime to Zero

Planned downtime is a period of time during which IT operations are restricted in order to implement upgrades, repairs and other changes. Unlike in more catastrophic types of downtime, planned downtime occurs when planners have set aside a particular time period to shut down or restrict operations.

With Z-IMPACT signature migration services, iDCMP – Data Center Migration Program and iDAMS – Data Center Application Migration Service, customers experience a smooth migration and a timely go-live of Z-IMPACT iStormCloud HCI Appliances.

Once Z-IMPACT iStormCloud HCI Ecosystem is in place, and the applications, data and processes are transformed into the new technology the technology refresh has been completed.  It is recommended that each on-premise deployment also purchase a 2nd redundant BCP (Business Continuity Planning) | DR (Disaster Recovery) location or select the Z-IMPACT Z-CLOUD Hybrid Cloud as the 2nd or 3rd redundant location to guarantee the 100% availability.

Z-IMPACT software, iPulse (TM) OS v2 IronRock (OS 17.02) is operational technology (OT) software that detects or causes a change through the direct monitoring and/or control of physical hardware devices, processes and events on-demand in the enterprise. It takes over and the users will never experience any planned downtime outages only a great customer experience! With 100% availability we mean 100% – no planned or unplanned outages once migrated! This includes future new Z-IMPACT hardware expansions – new hardware in, old hardware out: zero IMPACT.

Z-IMPACT Service puts in place an advanced iDRACS (Disaster Recovery & Continuity Solutions) to install our iMesh XaaS Agile Platform, iMesh Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC), Advanced Firewall Security & Encryption solution. We also offer complete end-to-end VDI solutions. These are GDPR compliant, offer secure access to your Z-CLOUD subscription. Much of our solutions are currently having all the documentation created. To sum up the above solution. We run the most extremely densest Intel Platinum CPU solution with tight integration to NVIDIA GPU. We also within the solution have NVME-OF all flash storage integrated to compute via IB interconnects. CEPH is running on top of this incredible storage integrated into our Z-CLOUD solution providing you our subscriber resilient object, block and file storage that is super simple to use. This is also wrapped into Container-as-a-service (CAAS) with ROOK. Basically enables you to create a complete application environment with web, app, dB, compute, storage, network, firewall, tagging etc... in seconds. Greatly simplifies deployments and promotion into higher environments.