InfraSpace specialises in products and services to enable high performance workloads – especially in the Big Data, AI and machine learning spaces.
InfraSpace previously hosted all of their AI and Big Data workloads in AWS and Azure, but the cost profile was far too high for the performance profile they required. They looked at ways to reduce costs and concluded that building their own datacenters was the best option. 2 years later, all of their workloads have been migrated to their own infrastructure. Initially they used VMware as their virtualisation technology of choice, but found that they were only getting a fraction of the performance they expected when deployed on modern hardware. Also, management of the VMware estate was getting more and more onerous. The focus on demanding workloads together with VMware's performance constraints meant a constant need to buy more servers, memory and storage.
In addition - InfraSpace had started to provide edge 'microdatacenters' that could be deployed near to centres of population where developer teams worked - these required extremely low power consumption without compromising performance.
InfraSpace evaluated the Hyperconverged Computing Infrastructure (HCI) solutions on the market to find a virtualisation product that was able to access the performance of new technologies such as NVMe storage, could scale out easily and could operate on resource-constrained processors. Sunlight was the natural choice.
reduction in infrastructure costs vs VMware
There are two key issues with Kubernetes: first - how long it takes to build the cluster; and second - how simple it is to run the containers. Kubernetes is a very complicated product to deploy in AWS or Azure, so if you only need the cluster for a couple of days, it isn't a very cost effective option. Previously it would take 40 minutes to build a cluster in AWS, however with Sunlight, that build time has come down to just 10 minutes. Finally, because of the performance gains of Sunlight, Kubernetes clusters can be deployed more densely - reducing overall hardware spend.
"I no longer have to on-board a customer way ahead of time. From a devops perspective, we can spin up the environment fast, do the tests and shut it down. For customers using hourly billing in the cloud, they can save a lot of money because of the reduction in deployment time."
InfraSpace has launched a Microdatacenter concept In India – enabling them to offer the same services as AWS, at 1/10 of the cost. This enables them to offer rural services with extremely high performance at very low cost. Sunlight is the perfect platform for this use case, as it can run on Intel Xeon-D processors as well as ARM.
"For our rural datacenters – the power:performance ratio is vital – we need to keep power low without compromising performance. Sunlight allows us to pack the microdatacenter denser - providing more resources into the same footprint."
Virtual desktops (VDI) are a great way to manage a remote workforce. With VDI – it is possible to give employees or contractors full access to corporate resources and lock down all intellectual property, leaving no footprint outside of the datacenter. With laptops – even locking down USB ports etc… doesn’t provide the security corporates require. However, VDI often doesn’t perform as users want it to - especially for developers.
"If a client wants to bring in 100 desktops – now we can procure 2-3 high end Bobcat Peak servers and provide those 100 desktops in no time. This is way less capital intensive than other solutions, and the user experience is significantly better."