Hyper-converged infrastructure is slowly but increasingly being shaped into the standard for building specific server infrastructure. Main reasons for this include convenience, speed and ease of initialization of such systems as new systems in SMBs, as upgrades to existing systems or a remote infrastructure. All of these features are integrated in a software-designed device to the extent that it can be used as a pure virtualization server, VDI environment or cloud/hybrid-cloud platform.
One of the essential features of this system, and also one of its main advantages over the pure DL380 server (platform used for the HC380) is the UX GUI. Designed for development environments, facilitating and accelerating processes in virtualization environments. Created using HTML5 means there are no typical obstacles (java, flash ?!) to using it used anytime, anywhere. UX GUI is a virtual device integrated with a vCenter server so any change made to one of these two systems automatically changes the other.
Following initial initialization via HPE InstantOn software and after setting access parameters (IP address, vCenter authorization), we can access our UX interface:
Figure 1. Login HC380
When logging in to HC380 we are given the “Dashboard” (Figure 2) screen which is the homepage of the GUI interface. This homepage provides a quick and easy overview of useful information on resource utilization, i.e. CPU, memory and disk space utilization. CloudOptimizer advanced analytics are located in the upper right corner. You can access the quick menu on the left of the screen.
Figure 2. “Dashboard”
The “Virtual Machines” tab (Figure 3) lists all currently running or inactive virtual machines. They are sorted according to creation date, and we can also note if any of them are in critical state by observing the color of the dot below the name of the virtual machine (red/green). HPE SmartSearch makes it easier to find a specific machine without any delays in an enterprise environment with hundreds of thousands of virtual machines.
Slika 3. Virtual machines
“Images” and “Sizes” tabs are interconnected (Figure 4). First tab is used as a repository for storing operating systems (in a .iso format) that we can initialize as virtual machines, and the other represents a preconfigured template used during the initialization. This template includes properties such as the number of virtual processors (vCPUs), amount of RAM (RAM) and size of available disk space (GB). You can generate a template according to specific wants and needs.
Figure 4. Virtual Machine Templates
Each virtual device has its own tab displaying accurate analytics and resource utilization in real-time (processor, memory, disk space), default IP address, and standard controls also available when using VMware for virtual device management (Console, Restart, Turn off/on, Snapshot, Edit, Remove, Assign to User).
Figure 5. Analytics and virtual machine management options
System administrator is given additional options (marked red) such as:
- Software upgrade
- Create and download backup files
- Restore a backup file
- Create a log file for easier system repair
- System restart
Figure 6. HC380 System Settings
Additional features worth mentioning include HPE Cloud Optimizer providing advanced analytics of the entire infrastructure. Any environment in vSphere, Hyper-V, AWS, KVM, and even physical servers, all in one place.
Thanks to its recent acquisition of SimpliVity, HPE has made it clear that it will continue investing in hyper-converged systems. Some speculations exist that HPE will incorporate SimpliVity Omnistack and add a PCIe card to enable hardware deduplication and compete with other market solutions. We’ll just have to wait for the new Gartner Report to solidify HPE as the absolute industry leader in this area.
For more information on HC380 model and lab test details, please contact us.