There’s no application without infrastructure

There’s no application without infrastructure

5 min read-

Technology insights

Recently, System Solutions added Nutanix to the product portfolio. Time to have a talk with General Manager of System Solutions Belgium Jean-Paul de Cannière and Infrastructure Architect Nicolas Dassy about cloud readiness, the modern needs of the customer and our experience with this solution so far.

Nutanix is an attractive proposition for a number of reasons, De Cannière and Dassy kick off the conversation. As a relatively young company, it has a fresh perspective on hot topics like hyperconvergence and the cloud. And since it is hardware agnostic, it formed a great extra software layer in combination with HPE hardware. This way, we can offer multiple hyperconverged solutions on the same hardware. Adding Nutanix allows System Solutions to address another market segment.

Ready for cloud

This segment is defined as companies that wish to keep their infrastructure on-premise while preparing for a possible migration to the cloud. Generally, customers in the regions we service vary in enthusiasm when it comes to embracing the cloud. Luxembourg is leading the way and Belgium and France are moving at a somewhat more sedate pace towards cloud computing. Reasons for cloud adoption are equally wide-ranging, from a simple move to an opex model to safeguarding the business and improving resilience. Often, cloud back-ups are a first step, with more major moves coinciding with a need to replace and update existing infrastructure.

Whatever the reason for a move to cloud, cost is not and should not be among them, say De Cannière and Dassy. What the customer does obtain for a similar budget though, is a better system, with more maturity and resilience than they would be able to afford on-site. This concept of better value for money usually requires some explaining, but the customer’s IT team can also benefit from explaining how they will benefit. Initially these teams can be less than eager, as they may perceive cloud-based infrastructure as a threat to their position within the company. This, however, is a misconception: in-company IT remains crucial, for working on tasks that are directly aligned with the company business. Only day to day operation can be delegated to our specialists. For the in-house IT team, life tends to become more interesting after a company switches over to cloud and starts to outsource basic facilities. This reduction of operation workload is, in the words of Dassy, our main goal.

To companies that are unable or unwilling to switch to the cloud, Nutanix offers an excellent on-premise solution with hyperconverged infrastructure, managed through the central Prism console at the customer, and optional disaster recovery in a separate datacenter. Because Nutanix is built from the ground up with cloud workloads in mind, adopting it makes it easy for a customer to move workloads to the cloud should that become needed in the future.

Quick and easy roll-out

Another benefit of Nutanix is the ease of roll-out. With all relevant information collected in the presales phase, a Nutanix platform can be set up very fast, according to Dassy. The experience of working with Nutanix’ presales team has been quite good, with an easy cooperation allowing for a period of less than one month from the first assessment meeting with a customer to the start of a migration, excluding hardware order and delivery times. This period of time includes space reserved for thorough testing and readying documentation. As Dassy summarizes: “We don’t just turn on the boxes, we have our own methodology to ensure the quality of the delivery and answer to customer expectations.”

Our technical team is quite happy with Nutanix as well. Part of the reason may well be that Nutanix has been designed from the start as a hyperconverged solution; as a software company it has some advantages over traditional hardware companies. For now, the basic HCI solution is also what most of the customers of System Solutions are looking for – Nutanix offers a much larger selection of products, but the market that De Cannière sees is still very much oriented towards the basics: compute, storage, network. Once HCI solutions are up and running, customers start seeing the possibilities this offers to other applications and possibilities, but it is early days yet.

Long-term relations

Everything starts with the needs of the customer. As De Cannière puts it, “IT is there to help run and develop the business; it is not the business itself. Even if companies are increasingly IT central, data driven.” Those needs are therefore dictated by the business, and System Solutions puts in a lot of effort to understand that business, to understand what the customer wants. De Cannière: “For a lot of people IT is the application, because that is what they see – but without infrastructure, there is no application.”

“IT is there to help run and develop the business; it is not the business itself. Even if companies are increasingly IT central, data driven.”

Determining the right infrastructure for the application landscape is what System Solution does, putting customer needs first, without a preference for on-premise or cloud infrastructure. In the words of De Cannière: “The customer builds their solution at their rhythm and will come to the cloud when they believe it is time for them.” That focus on the customers’ needs, combined with 25 years of expertise, has served System Solutions well so far, with customers staying with the company since its inception. The expectation is they will for a long time to come.

Are you ready to future-proof your business?

Don’t hesitate to ask our expert for advice and information about cloud computing. We put your needs first and help you to determine the right infrastructure for your applications. Get in touch and become cloud-ready!

Contact our expert

Jean-Paul De Cannière, General Manager, System Solutions