The COVID pandemic has accelerated the migration to cloud-native apps for many retailers, quick-serve restaurants and convenience stores, yet applications still need to run locally for performance and latency requirements. Luckily, the advent of hyper-converged infrastructure and the ability to integrate these environments into a cloud-managed strategy has made it easier for organizations with hundreds or even thousands of locations to take advantage of the speed and flexibility of the cloud, while still maintaining the performance benefits of on-site IT assets.
At SageNet, we have increasingly seen clients install hyper-converged infrastructure such as Nutanix and HPE Simplivity at their retail locations, and then manage those installations as if they were in the cloud. Rather than logging into your hypervisor at each location to spin up virtual machines, perform backups and snapshots, set up drivers and mirrored arrays, you can use one cloud-based interface, one “single pane of glass” to control your entire virtual server infrastructure at each location. Easily configure templates for retail locations that have payment applications on one virtual network and virtual machine, while your back-office functions are on a completely different network and VM infrastructure.
SageNet has helped many retail clients set up and manage this type of easily-managed, easily-scalable virtual infrastructure. We have developed many reference architectures for particular vertical industries. We provide solutions for thousands of fuel retailers, quick-serve restaurants, convenience stores and other retail locations. These reference architectures allow overworked IT staff to easily scale their retail operations while maintaining PCI-compliance and ensuring their valuable data is protected.
Managing a hybrid cloud environment
The public cloud has made it easy for organizations to quickly expand their retail footprint. Rather than being forced to wait to expand their data center, they can leverage public clouds to expand and grow their presence, Buy using tools such as Nutanix both in the cloud and at each retail location, clients have a single view of their complex infrastructure. Performing upgrades and migrations is simplified. Workloads can be moved from the cloud to the edge with ease, and back to the cloud as necessary.
Scale without the manpower
Single pane of glass consoles are one of the key technologies making it easier for retail IT departments to scale out their infrastructure and grow their footprint without adding expensive, dedicated manpower. By offloading some of the work to specialized providers such as Fortinet, a small staff of IT people with in-depth knowledge of their business operations can more easily grow their retail footprint without bringing on a huge number of additional staff. Leveraging both technology and technology partners such as SageNet can allow a small, highly focused IT team to scale well beyond what they could have done just a few years ago.