For enterprise IT teams seeking ways to deliver on-premises IT services with the speed and operational efficiency of public cloud services, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced the availability of the Nutanix’s Hyperconverged Cloud Infrastructure (HCI) platform to agencies.

Offered under GSA’s Enterprise Software Category contract with Carahsoft Technology, 10 distinct HCI products from Nutanix cover most common HCI applications and will let agencies simplify their data centers and transition away from legacy infrastructures to a more operationally efficient, modern and optimized platform, GSA officials said.

Hyperconvergence is a type of infrastructure system with a software-centric architecture that tightly integrates compute, storage, networking, virtualization resources and other technologies in a commodity hardware box supported by a single vendor. It is designed to replace legacy infrastructures comprising separate servers, storage networks and storage arrays.

The HCI offerings will help agencies meet a wide variety of Federal mandates, including the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) and the requirements put in place by the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). They also fully support the cloud-first initiative by supplying the core infrastructure building block for cloud technologies, according to GSA officials.

“The addition of the HCI platform under the FITARA initiatives provides Federal agencies with access to a streamlined procurement option for easily and efficiently transitioning to a converged cloud environment, whether public, private or hybrid,” said Kay Ely, assistant commissioner of GSA’s office of information technology category.

“Agencies have the option to purchase HCI as a hardware and software bundle or software only,” Ely added.

Nutanix’s 10 configurations in the agreement include a pilot program that lets agency buyers try an entry level HCI system designed for small agencies and pay approximately 50 percent of the previous GSA pricing. Once the pilot is completed, the base system can easily be expanded should the agency decide to continue with HCI.

In a white paper on HCI, Nutanix said that the hyperconverged cloud platform “bridges the wide gap that exists between traditional infrastructure and public cloud services.”

The platform delivers a “turnkey infrastructure that integrates servers, storage, and virtualization, along with end-to-end systems-management and operations-management programs,” according to Nutanix. “This allows enterprises to deploy infrastructure in minutes and shift the focus to applications that power the business.” Nutanix converges the entire datacenter stack, including compute, storage, storage networking and virtualization. Complex and expensive legacy infrastructure is replaced by simple 2U appliances that let enterprises start small and scale one node at a time, the white paper states.

The white paper also notes that “while hyperconvergence is not an endpoint in itself, it is the fundamental building block for enterprise cloud.”

The new hyperconverged cloud infrastructure offering is available to all Federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies through the GSA IT Schedule 70 program. It can be purchased through Carahsoft’s GSA Schedule 70 Contract GS-35F-0119Y, GSA officials said.

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