Traditionally, the main datacenter has been the center of gravity for most business IT organizations. After all, that’s where the datacenter is and that’s where most of IT staff works. But that’s changing fast as businesses are increasingly moving their operations to remote locations. These locations are crucial because that’s often where business happens. But supporting remote offices and branch offices (ROBOs) is tough for IT. It is expensive and resource intensive.
ROBO is defined as a small or branch office or other dedicated location that is connected to headquarters and/or other corporate locations via a WAN link. A typical ROBO location can house anywhere from just a few employees up to hundreds, with varied needs.
Organizations need to deliver the same level of IT service to remote and branch office workers as they do to their headquarters-based employees. At the same time, a ROBO needs physical architecture that suits remote and potentially isolated sites, resiliency in case of WAN outages, and a constant deployment (compute and storage) model that can be tailored per ROBO workload.
Most existing legacy solutions try to fit a full-sized server + storage deployment into each ROBO site, which is not feasible from a cost and manageability standpoint. Maintaining low costs at each ROBO site is of utmost concern. IT organizations cannot afford to have multiple IT staff at each ROBO location.
Another important factor at a ROBO site is backup and high availability. WAN links can be unpredictable, and backup delays can hurt the business’ ability to generate revenue. Organizations need a data redundancy solution that can easily work between their ROBOs and main offices.
The key challenges in a ROBO environment continue to remain:
- Backup and data protection in an efficient and reliable manner
- Lean, low-cost ROBO sites with a low cost of upkeep
- Very little to no IT staff at ROBO sites
A Breath of Fresh Air
The hyperconverged Nutanix solution features a flat datacenter architecture that eliminates the need for centralized SAN/NAS storage, reducing costs and IT complexity while simplifying management. Our customers, including California’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), love the turn-key solution that is delivered as a compact appliance that runs all virtual workloads common to the ROBO.
Nutanix Prism offers a single pane of glass for centralized remote management, streamlining IT requirements. Administrators do not have to manage separate point products over unpredictable WAN links. Nutanix maintains business continuity with an integrated replication and backup software solution tailored for VM-specific data, especially with Nutanix AHV.
And most importantly, customers enjoy reduced infrastructure needs with flexibility to use typical branch office power and networking infrastructure (110 volt and 1 GB Ethernet) to reduce deployment costs.
We have a great ROBO customer story we’d like to share with you from one of our healthcare customers. With 15 hospitals across the United States, they chose Nutanix for its ease of use, management, flexibility, and overall cost savings. Their over $3 M+ investment in legacy ROBO solutions had failed miserably with numerous firmware, upgrade, and stability issues, with high licensing hypervisor costs, and multiple point products for servers and storage. These issues and costs were adding up quickly with their multiple ROBO locations.
Each of their remote sites was running DHCP, Vulnerability Scanners, open source software for messaging and collaboration, and other infrastructure and patch management solutions. Luckily, they turned to Nutanix. With Nutanix AHV as their virtualization stack in each remote site, they eliminated huge licensing costs and ran all of their workloads on Nutanix, with centralized management from Prism. A small footprint at the ROBO locations provided them with significant power, cooling, and operational savings. They no longer need dedicated IT staff at each location, as most of the operations are managed remotely. Additionally, Nutanix provides integrated backup and disaster recovery solutions at each of the ROBO sites, allowing IT to centrally manage data protection and ensure continuous access to applications in case sites fail.
This customer truly benefitted from everything that Nutanix offers for the ROBO. Check out our website for more information on Nutanix for ROBO or talk to your local Nutanix representative to learn more.
VMworld US 2016
Are you planning on attending VMworld in Las Vegas on August 28-September 1, 2016? We will be there, and would love to help you overcome infrastructure challenges in your remote and branch offices. We’ll show you how Nutanix will enable you to deliver simplicity and agility to your ROBO sites.
We look forward to meeting with you at our booth #2311 and showing how you can deliver mission-critical remote/branch office and datacenter solutions with excellent TCO at scale, with security, and reliability. With infrastructure made invisible, your IT organization can truly be elevated and focus on core business and innovation.
Stay connected with Nutanix throughout the entire VMworld 2016 event by following @nutanix on twitter, and tagging your photos and tweets with #nutanixatvmworld. Also, you can visit with us on the Nutanix Next Community (next.nutanix.com).