The world is more connected now than it has ever been. The benefits of globalization are numerous as far as communication and business development are concerned. Worldwide connectivity and the ability to easily reach almost any place in the world have enabled all businesses, large and small, to expand their activity to many locations around the world.
Of course, this global expansion has had its drawbacks, particularly as far as IT infrastructure is concerned. An organization that has remote/branch offices will have to choose a solid IT infrastructure, that will allow the remote offices to communicate efficiently, while keeping all of the organisation’s data secure and accessible.
A “traditional” IT infrastructure will often not rise up to the challenge. A hyperconverged infrastructure, on the other hand, is far more adapted to the challenges of this business model.
What IT challenges are companies with remote and branch offices (ROBO) facing?
The traditional IT infrastructure approach, which involves individual pieces of hardware (servers, networking, storage) has its limitations. Here are some challenges that ROBO environments face with this type of infrastructure:
- A traditional IT infrastructure is expensive, due to the need to purchase and scale each piece of the infrastructure individually. This procedure needs to be repeated for each and every office or branch.
- Managing a complex IT infrastructure, involving several remote offices, in a “decentralized” way can be quite challenging. So is aligning the policies of all the various hubs within an organization.
- Ensuring data protection across all hubs is a difficult, often very expensive task, when using legacy tools.
- The infrastructure in remote offices is usually ran by a small IT team or by an IT generalist. The management of a traditional infrastructure will be very time-consuming in this case.
Why is hyperconverged infrastructure a good fit for ROBO?
As we have previously shown, the fact that hyperconverged infrastructure involves high costs is merely a myth. The acquisition costs of a traditional IT infrastructure are higher, especially when you have to equip several offices.
Protecting data in various remote offices will cost more. This is due to the traditional model of separate backup hardware and software. This is still a problem if one of the remote sites suffers a big downtime incident. Most of the time, Disaster Recovery is implemented on-site, leading to data loss. Even with an off-site replication policy, getting back to business can take 10+ hours.
When deploying a hyperconverged infrastructure, backups can be made directly to the main office, making sure that all data is safe, should any of the branch offices be suffering downtime. The infrastructure can be restored within 30 minutes, recovering both applications and files.
A hyperconverged solution for ROBO can also facilitate the exchange of information between offices. Hyperconverged infrastructures with integrated data replication capabilities can send application data and file to an organisation’s main datacentre at scheduled intervals (hourly, daily, weekly, etc). The application data and files can then be easily accessed, used and modified.
Organisations gain the advantage of being able to work on applications and files from a remote office locally. Subsequently, data can be sent back to the remote office. This ensures a quick go-to-market strategy which ultimately improves business agility.
Easy to manage:
Replacing an older infrastructure with a hyperconverged solution in a ROBO environment offers the advantage of consolidating the whole infrastructure. A HC infrastructure is easy to deploy and manage and once everyone in the organization is aligned with how to use the new infrastructure, lack of communication and loss of data can easily be avoided.
Interested in real-life examples of how hyperconverged works for ROBO?
Does this all sound too good to be true? It is not and we can prove it.
Syneto has recently helped Italian bottle manufacturer Serioplast to consolidate their entire IT infrastructure. Serioplast was looking to consolidate their very diverse infrastructure (consisting of 65 servers) spanning across 12 countries. They needed a reliable and easy-to-manage solution that would work across offices, while ensuring no data is lost between them.
Deploying 22 Syneto hyperconverged products: 2 based in the head office and 20 in the remote offices, with data being replicated to the HQ. This has helped them cut both costs and time of maintenance.
For a detailed overview on how this solution has been implemented, you can read the full case study.
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