Today’s data center teams are faced with the persistent challenge to do more. Be more efficient. Ensure more uptime. Manage more compute, storage and network capacity across a mix of physical, virtual and containerized environments. And do all that and more with lower capital and operating budgets.

We feel your pain. Traditional architectures have not been designed to address the demands of the services-oriented economy that requires rapid application development in response to evolving customer requirements. Agility, visibility, efficiency, orchestration, and automation are the watchwords, and the new measures of success.

Your IT environment is likely a combination of physical and virtualized systems. You are possibly running various versions of the same application, and may even have unused licenses lying around – not to mention managing Operating System versions and images. While today’s data centers do deliver against demands for application availability and performance, the stress on IT staff is increasing.

A new approach to enterprise IT is needed. That approach needs to incorporate existing IT investments while providing the framework for growth, flexibility and repeatability. It’s time for composable infrastructure that treats hardware like software. “Infrastructure as code” allows IT administrators to allocate the right amount of infrastructure pools of resources (compute, storage, memory, I/O) needed to optimize application performance. It’s time for HPE Synergy.

HPE Synergy is the first platform architected for composable infrastructure. It’s time to simplify deployment, provisioning, monitoring and management of your IT environment.

Composable What?

Composable Infrastructure is the solution to transition from traditional to “new” IT. In simple terms, composable infrastructure breaks down existing silos and treats each IT element or resource as a service. Those services are then composed, in real time, to meet demands for compute, store, process, etc. Think of it as “infrastructure as code.” It’s more than converging or hyper-converging of hardware, compute and storage into a cohesive, integrated unit. Composable infrastructure virtualizes the entire IT infrastructure, even the physical compute, storage and network devices, and manages the entire set of IT assets via a single application.

The days of defining and procuring IT assets based on project requirements are gone. Now it is possible to assign resources that are already onsite. HPE Synergy turns your physical, virtual and containerized IT assets into a fluid pool of hardware, compute, storage and network resources. This means that all of these underlying resources are disaggregated and can be scaled independently of each other. It also allows IT staff to identify and allocate the most relevant resources to defined workloads. Synergy removes concerns about finding compatible resources for workloads. It can run workloads anywhere – on physical servers, virtual machines or containers. It can run on-premise or in the cloud.

So, how does it work? HPE Synergy includes the following components:

  • Frame – This 10U frame is where all the compute, storage, fabric and management are located. This can be thought of as a blade enclosure with a more efficient power supply (meaning lower electric costs) and cooling system. In addition, when copper wiring becomes a thing of the past, it is photonics-ready. Synergy can connect up to five racks or 21 frames.The frame is designed with reliability, availability and flexibility in mind. The frame provides full redundancy thanks to two appliance bays for embedded management appliances – HPE Synergy Composer and HPE Synergy Image Streamer – in every frame (more about these tools shortly). The frame provides three redundant fabrics and QSFP ports can be configured for Ethernet or Fibre Channel.
  • HPE Synergy Composer – Powered by HPE OneView, this hardware management appliance provides a single interface for assembling and reassembling the fluid pools of compute, storage and fabric resources. Imagine a single view of all your IT resources. By treating “infrastructure as code,” physical and virtual elements can be programmed like software to deliver on-demand resources to support applications and services.Synergy Composer also provides the lifecycle management to deploy, monitor and update infrastructure through its single interface or the Unified API. Efficiencies are gained through simplified initial setup and out-of-the-box discovery and error checking of all resources. Templates are the key to success; they build in best practices, provide consistent provisioning and automate change management. Whether it is one-to-many updates, or managing compute module profiles, change templates simplify and ensure management of BIOS settings, local RAID settings, boot order, network configuration and more. The end result is greater control and efficiency for IT administrators.
  • HPE Synergy Image Streamer – This appliance works with Synergy Composer to provision compute modules with bootable images created from a predefined set of golden images. It maintains a repository of all software images, hardware and software configurations, operating systems, I/O drivers, etc.The power is in the flexibility of Image Streamer to automate deployments and updates of compute modules using software-defined intelligence. Programmatic control functions can be enabled by leveraging the Unified API to develop scripts to define provisioning of HPE and/or partner resources. The agility demanded by DevOps environments is enhanced through scripts developed to automatically deploy additional resources to handle increased demand and then free up those resources once the workload has decreased.
  • Composable Compute – Imagine unrestricted choice of compute and RAM! Synergy compute modules provide performance, scalability, CPU and memory density optimization, storage simplicity and configuration flexibility to support a variety of workloads. Synergy utilizes the Intel Xeon Processor Scalable Family for even greater performance gains. The range of Synergy Compute modules addresses enterprise needs ranging from collaborative application and content acquisition, virtualization, business processing and analytics, to mission-critical applications with high memory demands.

Synergy’s flexible design eliminates configuration lock-in. It allows organizations to define their internal storage options, with support for SAS, SFF, NVMe SFF, Flash UFF or diskless – always aligning internal storage to workload and operational requirements. Flexibility is also available for defining booting options; they include booting the operating system via the Image Streamer, from DAS or SAN, or from USB, micro SD or local drives. An understanding that different workloads require access to different kinds of resources means that Synergy’s design allows for integration of required GPU, flash storage, or non-HPE products.

An embedded benefit lies in silicon-rooted trust. In these days of cyber security challenges, Gen10 servers now check and guarantee security at three levels: 1) protection form DoS attacks, 2) enhanced detection and recovery, and 3) data security within the server. With a validation signature in the ASIC, the firmware is protected throughout production. A firmware scanner automatically scans five firmwares on the motherboard every day. If an issue is found, the server is returned to factory settings, last known good setting, or is taken offline. With composable infrastructure, a new resource is automatically provisioned.

  • Composable Storage – Your storage must be aligned to both the demands of your workloads and the needs of your organization. Synergy offers high-density storage options that range from fully integrated storage modules to software-defined storage to all-flash arrays. Regardless of data type, connectivity protocol or service-lever requirement, Synergy has a solution. It simplifies your organization’s need to store and share any file, block or object data for I/O intensive workloads, email, file sharing, web scale applications or media streaming. It eliminates storage silos while providing RAID protection and encryption. And it is manageable through Synergy Composer.HPE Synergy Storage Modules provide a range of options that allow for aligning storage resources to application needs.
    • Synergy can support up to 7 of DAS storage in a 10U frame. While Synergy composable storage is best optimized with all solid-state drives (SSDs), it maximizes density and supports flash (SSD) and disk (HDD) storage in both SAS and SATA options.
    • Software-defined storage is achieved by combining the storage module with HPE StoreVirutal VSA or VMware vSAN shared across multiple frames. This allows organizations to create a highly scalable and flexible platform that delivers adaptive optimization for auto-tiering of data.
    • Composable All-Flash Storage Arrays deliver the high performance, scalability, flexibility and reliability required for Tier 1 storage. The 3Par Fibre Channel-attached storage option provides the ability to scale up to 24 petabytes of usable capacity per system, with the low latency demanded by mission-critical applications.
  • Composable Fabric – Rack-scale multi-fabric connectivity is what brings all of the Synergy components together. The key to its success is how it alleviates traditional infrastructure constraints through “wire-once” simplified management between network and compute resources. The rack-scale architecture is flat, maximizing east/west (not north/south!) data throughput and minimizing latency with only a single op within large domains of virtual machines or compute modules.A master module contains intelligent networking capabilities and handles all data forwarding decisions. The fabric provides workloads with high-performance connectivity that easily integrates with existing SAN/LAN infrastructure. The master module can extend connectivity to satellite frames and eliminate the need for top-of-rack switches. More importantly, it simplifies cabling with the theoretical ability to operate with just one set of cables. Even if you still need to maintain your existing network, Synergy provides a module to allow one-to-one connectivity.

The Smarter Data Center

One of the primary goals of HPE Synergy is to create a smarter, more efficient data center. Consistency is the overriding challenge faced by most IT teams; identifying and allocating resources is another. Composable infrastructure systematically addresses these challenges. HPE Synergy provides the tools in the form of Synergy Composer and Image Stream to help enterprises quickly deploy infrastructure while also providing a systematic method to easily flex, scale and update that infrastructure.

The Synergy Composer templates not only simplify provisioning of new resources or managing updates to current infrastructure – they also provide monitoring and flagging capabilities. Profiles created from the template are monitored; if an inconsistency is found, an alert highlights which profile is out of compliance, simplifying remediation.

The Unified API is the key to accessing and controlling management functions. It can be used to discover, search, inventory, configure, provision, update and diagnose composable resources. It easily integrates with existing ITSM solutions as well as open-source automation and configuration management tools. It also takes advantage of modern REST protocols to create, aggregate and host IT resources, allowing automation tools to program on-demand and pragmatically.

The ability to define and compose flexible blocks of compute storage and fabric resources is the cornerstone of Synergy. Workload-driven templates, define BIOS settings, firmware, drivers, etc., to create operating environment images. Templates eliminate time-consuming provisioning processes across operational silos. They also provide the consistency to ensure all resources are deployed in an optimized state, saving weeks and months of effort.

The IIS Value Add

IIS is your trusted technology partner. We compose the optimal set of people, resources and technologies to optimize Synergy in your environment. If that means integrating Red Hat, VMware, or any other application that operates your enterprise workloads, we will do just that.

As an HPE Global Partner of the Year, we have the capabilities to assess and analyze workloads and data center architectures to help you with your migration to composable infrastructure. We will architect the right balance of bare metal, virtual and containerized resources, based on your current investments, budget and operational needs. We will collaborate with you to define and create the templates that make Synergy Composer and Image Streamer so powerful – reducing provisioning time even further.

After deployment, our managed services deliver enhanced proactive, unified monitoring of your infrastructure environment. Leveraging Synergy’s embedded monitoring and management capabilities, IIS delivers unified monitoring of your entire HPE and non-HPE infrastructure, delivering rich dashboards, alerts, governance and custom reports. With dedicated resources to monitor, manage and maintain your cloud, hybrid or on-premise infrastructure, your team can focus on business priorities while we focus on infrastructure.

In addition, IIS can help you turn capital expenses into operating costs through the use of pay-as-you-go financing solutions. With a defined methodology tied to your anticipated usage, a financial model for infrastructure on demand is a reality.

Our goal: to bring you in-depth knowledge of HPE Synergy and complementary vendor solutions, to tailor a solution to meet your business, organizational and technology goals.

Flexibility and Scalability – On-Demand

The magic of composable infrastructure lies in how it can be used for a variety of applications and workloads, including bare metal, virtualized or containerized workloads. The infrastructure will identify and use whatever resources it needs.

HPE Synergy removes limitations related to resources and time. Thanks to the level of automation that Synergy provides, via Composer and Image Streamer, administrators can offload time-consuming, repetitive tasks. Users benefit from faster availability of resources, whether it’s the launch of new workloads or updates. Defined maintenance windows become a thing of the past.

Imagine a future filled with fluid resource pools and software-defined intelligence. The focus is your business. The benefits are:

  • Agility: easily stand up new applications, on-premise or in the cloud, and scale workloads on demand
  • Simplified administration: template-driven provisioning of bare-metal and/or virtual resources
  • Accelerated development: continuously assign and reuse resources as needed
  • Transform TCO: new initiatives no longer require completely new IT infrastructure; and pay-as-you-go is now a reality
  • Faster time to market: dynamically align resources to serve new markets, customers and opportunities

Are you ready to learn more about how HPE Synergy and IIS can optimize your data center? Contact us.