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EMC Journal Authors: William Schmarzo, Greg Schulz, Mat Mathews, Jeffrey Abbott, Mehdi Daoudi

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The Technology Trifecta – Hyperconverged Compute, Storage, and Network

By Brian Martin

The other day, a friend of mine asked me why I left a great job at VMware to join Plexxi. My first blush response was simple. “I saw a great opportunity with a great company and a great team, and I went for it.” As the words left my mouth, I realized that there was a much broader context at play in my simple response. It was related to my career experience and the lessons I learned along the way. I helped build compute servers for a computer systems company, Data General (yes, I’m that old), when Intel changed the course of computing through commoditization of its x86 processors. I worked for EMC, Virsto, and then VMware (through acquisition) during the time when storage became distributed and vastly simplified with products like ScaleIO, VMware vSAN, and Nutanix NDFS. These were major changes that will continue to shape IT for years to come. But what about the network?

For me, Plexxi represents the next phase of networking, the “third leg of the stool” so to speak. As a key component of the IT equation, networking hasn’t really changed in any fundamental way in decades. While compute and storage have converged to simplify the IT infrastructure, traditional networking remains complex to configure and manage and still requires specially trained staff to maintain. It was clear that Plexxi was my opportunity to put my fingerprints on the industry’s next-generation approach to networking, an approach that thru awareness of the application, could automate network operations and vastly simplify the role of the network administrator.

Plexxi has developed a network fabric that is under software control, enabling tight integration into application environments. Our Plexxi Connect software plays a crucial role in automating key network functions based on the attributes and requirements of specific applications. In 2016, we delivered Plexxi Connect 2.0, a new, event-driven integration plane for accelerating and simplifying infrastructure and application awareness for Plexxi network fabrics. We also introduced the first release of Plexxi Connect for vSphere, an integration pack designed to enable VMware administrators to easily configure and manage the network.

But isn’t networking supposed to be hard you ask? What about LLDP and/or CDP configuration questions? No worries – Plexxi Connect can automatically configure vSwitches for compatibility. Not sure that the new VLAN you added to a VM exists throughout the network to all other potential ESX hosts? Plexxi Connect has you covered! Plexxi Connect for vSphere has fundamentally changed the network management paradigm for VMware environments. But we haven’t stopped there…

Now Plexxi Connect for Nutanix brings together the simplicity of hyperconverged compute and storage virtualization from Nutanix with network simplicity from Plexxi. This first embodiment of the technology trifecta (hyperconverged compute, storage, and network) delivers seamless, event-driven integration with Nutanix Acropolis and vSphere enterprise clouds. Our Nutanix integration packs automate configuration for Prism and Plexxi network views, isolate CVM traffic from other workload traffic, and automatically provision VLANs for virtual machines. Plexxi Connect tracks VM lifecycle events and adjusts network topologies automatically as needed. Plexxi networking objects integrate into Prism management and Nutanix networking objects integrate into the Plexxi UI for simplified network troubleshooting. With Nutanix and Plexxi, virtualized compute, storage and network, resources are provisioned collectively—in real-time—to enable elastic services, on-demand applications and self-service IT.

So you see, at Plexxi we are changing networking for the better. Our goal is to make networking simple, so you can focus on the things that matter to you the most.

The post The Technology Trifecta – Hyperconverged Compute, Storage, and Network appeared first on Plexxi.

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More Stories By Mat Mathews

Visionary solutions are built by visionary leaders. Plexxi co-founder and Vice President of Product Management Mat Mathews has spent 20 years in the networking industry observing, experimenting and ultimately honing his technology vision. The resulting product — a combination of traditional networking, software-defined networking and photonic switching — represents the best of Mat's career experiences. Prior to Plexxi, Mat held VP of Product Management roles at Arbor Networks and Crossbeam Systems. Mat began his career as a software engineer for Wellfleet Communications, building high speed Frame Relay Switches for the carrier market. Mat holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.