A PowerOne CRG consists of the dedicated resources that have been intelligently configured and presented to the user. Building a CRG with the controller ensures that the firmware, configuration, and BIOS settings are the same across the selected compute blades. This helps to deliver consistent performance and reliability within the cluster. The following figure shows two CRGs that have been created in the PowerOne system, each with separate dedicated resources:
Figure 1. PowerOne Cluster Resource Groups
The advantage of CRGs is that compute, storage, and networking resources are grouped before the installation of the virtualization layer, providing physical separation. This CRG automation can provide a substantial benefit as resources are defined and dedicated for the hosted applications. For example, after compute resources such as a server have been allocated to a CRG, another CRG cannot use them. This method of separating resources enables you to isolate critical environments like production SAP HANA systems from noncritical test and development systems.
For storage, all LUNs are dedicated to the CRG, representing the capability to reserve dedicated storage capacity. Read and write operations are balanced across the PowerOne resources, maximizing performance for the shared storage resources. Networking is also a shared resource because all the infrastructure uses a common network backbone. Shared storage and networking resources are common across the data centers and do not become a resource constraint if the resources are properly sized.
In contrast, traditional CI solutions use virtualization to reserve and dedicate resources. With the traditional CI approach, hardware infrastructure is presented to the hypervisor for allocation to virtual machine consumers. Isolation can be accomplished only through careful administration of resources in the virtualization console.
The following figure shows the traditional CI approach:
Figure 2. Traditional converged infrastructure
The PowerOne system uses all the capabilities of VMware vSphere 6.7 and, thus, it seamlessly integrates with existing data centers that have standardized on VMware. Using vSphere, the administrator can granularly allocate resources within the CRG, enabling larger CRGs in which vSphere virtualization drives the same level of consolidation as in traditional CI solutions. Many vSphere customers achieve two to five times more consolidation with vSphere. Using large CRGs, customers can achieve similar consolidation savings with the PowerOne system.
The automation and intelligent provisioning of CRGs can improve operational efficiencies for virtualized environments in the same way as a dedicated infrastructure in the private cloud. Application teams have greater flexibility and control to use their dedicated resources, providing a framework in which the team can explore how to most effectively configure their cluster resources for the application. This added control and flexibility can lead to optimizations that improve the application experience.
The following figure shows the dedicated physical infrastructure layer that provides the operational benefits of using CRGs:
Figure 3. Using PowerOne Cluster Resource Groups
In many organizations, teams are aligned to the applications that they support. For mission-critical systems such as SAP HANA, their responsibilities include reporting, business insight, performance management, control, and compliance, among others. Using CRGs, SAP HANA teams can have a landscape that is dedicated to SAP HANA, where management, administration, and optimization all apply to the database. Thus, the SAP HANA team benefits from the following specificity principle:
The infrastructure environment should be relevant to the application for consistency and completeness and to produce the desired outcome.
The efficiencies that are gained include streamlined SAP HANA management, faster implementation of business priorities, and delivery of a highly reliable system.
A connection exists between the infrastructure that an application or development team uses and their ability to collaborate. Most businesses organize teams that can deliver high-quality results over the long term to drive increased productivity, using a multistep process that moves from concept to test and finally to execution. Team collaboration in a solution environment that everyone understands facilitates testing. When collaboration is well aligned with the work that is performed in the application infrastructure, the business can achieve core strategies that provide a competitive edge.