A good chef de cuisine will tell you that their kitchen is only as effective as the creativity of their personnel. However, to really maximize this creativity, you need equipment that is up to the job. That means that only the best ovens, professional stoves and kitchen utensils in conjunction with the creative passion of the team make up the excellence of haute cuisine.
It may sound strange, but if you replace the word “kitchen” with “data center”, the outcome would be quite similar: coders, users and IT-technicians can only let their creative juices flow when the equipment is operating smoothly.
I asked Gernot Fels, Head of Integrated Systems, International Marketing, about the factor of the different “utensils” that make up the perfect integrated system.
Marcel Schuster: “What characterizes Fujitsu’s integrated systems?”
Gernot Fels: “Fujitsu’s integrated systems which are marketed under the PRIMEFLEX brand represent a combination of servers, storage, networking components and software, which are pre-integrated and pre-tested in order to simplify, accelerate and de-risk deployment, and increase operational efficiency.
“We use our own data center components e.g. our PRIMERGY or PRIMEQUEST servers and ETERNUS storage systems, but also components from our market-leading strategic alliance partners. Flexible configuration options allow easy adaptation to customer-specific requirements.
“PRIMEFLEX offers choice, be it e.g. in terms of the architecture (converged or hyper-converged), or in terms of virtualization technology (VMware, Microsoft and others). Identifying the ideal solution for our customers is what is most important for us.
“Moreover, PRIMEFLEX is complemented by flexible service options throughout the entire lifecycle, including infrastructure support with a single point of contact. Finally, I want to mention that our first integrated system was shipped in 2002, which underlines our long experience in this sphere.”
MS: “What is the most important factor that leads a customer to opt for an integrated system, i.e. PRIMEFLEX, over a “DIY” solution?”
GF: “In the digitalization age, people have to focus on what is really important for the business rather than selecting infrastructure components from a broad diversity of options, integrating these components, running tests to verify whether all selected components are compatible, and then building the infrastructure for productive operation.
“Moreover, if the component tests are not successful, you will have to restart the process again. PRIMEFLEX relieves you from all these tasks, because Fujitsu has done this time-consuming work already before you even start your project.”
MS: “Would you agree with the statement that an integrated solution can only be as good as the platform that it runs on? If so, why?”
GF: “Absolutely. Here, I am referring in particular to the servers, which are needed in every integrated system. The key requirements in this respect are high performance, reliability, quality and efficiency.”
MS: “PRIMEFLEX and other integrated systems revolve a great deal around business continuity. Why do you say PRIMERGY as such fits this aim perfectly?”
GF: “I see PRIMERGY as a server line designed and built for maximum reliability. Redundant and hot-pluggable components as well as the management software that comes with PRIMERGY increase the availability of the server platform tremendously, which is also reflected in the fact that PRIMERGY appears at the top of many reliability studies conducted by independent institutions.”
MS: “Our integrated systems are easily scalable. What contribution do the components make to this?”
GF: “It is true; some of our integrated systems are scalable up to 64 server nodes, and our SDDC offering PRIMEFLEX for VMware Cloud Foundation even up to 256 nodes. Customers expect not only linear scalability; they want to achieve the highest performance levels from their investment.
“Here again the core values of PRIMERGY come into play. PRIMERGY is seen as the most powerful virtualization platform, which is evidenced by a long track record in terms of leading performance benchmark results. However, scalability also requires reliable servers. With servers whose likelihood of failure is not close to zero, you won’t be able to achieve the performance and scalability you have paid for.
“Then we should not forget another aspect, which is efficiency. The more servers you use in a data center infrastructure, the more important energy consumption, cooling requirements and associated costs are. With PRIMERGY we are also in a safe position, due to patented solutions that again and again make us world champions in efficiency benchmarks.”
MS: “The integrated systems portfolio is available for many different use cases. To what extent do the PRIMERGY servers help to support these use cases?”
GF: “Indeed, our PRIMEFLEX portfolio is designed for several use cases across the markets we serve. When you look closer, you can see, for example, that our PRIMEFLEX for HPC is based upon PRIMERGY CX multi-node server systems whereas e.g. a PRIMEFLEX for SAP HANA relies heavily on quad- and octo-socket machines that have been developed with specifically a database transaction in mind.
“It can be said that the configuration details of PRIMEFLEX are reflected within the underlying hardware: flexibility is provided for additional PCI devices, GPGPUs or simpler: the number of HDDs to deploy a Storage Spaces Direct environment for example. Overall, PRIMEFLEX and PRIMERGY go hand in hand and both leverage from the flexibility and possibilities of the respective other.”
MS: “Overall, why do you believe PRIMERGY servers are the perfect foundation for our integrated systems?”
GF: “Without the performance and reliability of the server platform used in an integrated system, the integrated system itself won’t be able to support the speed, responsiveness and agility the business requires and also expects from IT. That’s why PRIMERGY is a perfect foundation for our PRIMEFLEX integrated systems.”
MS: “Thank you, Gernot, for your views and insights.”