A Cost-Effective Hybrid Cloud Solution for Small Businesses, Education, and Non-Profit Organizations

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If you could slash your IT expenses while boosting your organization's efficiency and flexibility, you’d probably at least think about that, right?

Recent changes in VMware's licensing have left many small businesses, schools, and non-profits scrambling for affordable alternatives. But what if there was a solution that addressed these cost concerns and seamlessly integrated with your cloud or hybrid cloud strategy?

Lenovo hardware paired with Azure Stack HCI is an approach that minimizes capital expenses and improves cloud presence. This doesn’t just keep up with technology; it also affects how you manage and deploy your IT resources, making your operations smoother and more cost-effective.

Ready for more? Let’s dig in.

Challenges of the Current Landscape

The VMware licensing changeswhich we have covered extensively—have left many smaller organizations scrambling to find affordable and sustainable alternatives. The new pricing models are no longer feasible for many schools, non-profits, and small businesses with limited budgets.

Maintaining on-prem hardware can often come with high capital expenses, typically stretching those limited budgets to their limits.

If you’re a small business owner, a school district IT director, or the technology manager of a non-profit, you’re probably looking for a solution that is reliable, scalable, and, most importantly, cost-effective. Throw in the growing desire to increase your cloud presence to enhance operational efficiency and flexibility without incurring prohibitive costs, and your options seem limited.

We’ve got an option for you.

Edge Computing with Lenovo and Azure Stack HCI

What Is Edge Computing? Edge computing involves processing data closer to where it is generated rather than relying on a centralized data center. This approach reduces latency and can be more efficient for certain workloads.

For small organizations, edge computing offers a balance between traditional on-prem solutions and complete cloud migration, providing localized processing power with cloud integration benefits.

How It Works

This solution takes Lenovo hardware—typically a single, two-rack unit that fits both servers and storage units, taking up very little physical space and requiring very little power—configures that hardware with Azure Stack HCI, and eliminates the need for third-party storage and significant switching investments.

Key Benefits

  • Cost Savings: By minimizing the need for additional hardware—particularly 25 gig switches (typically, you would want two switches for resiliency, approximately $40,000)—thanks to direct server-to-server connections, organizations will save significant money. And that’s even before you get into licensing prices.

With Azure Stack HCI, you can run your most demanding workloads and what would be the most expensive virtual machines (VMs) on-premises, significantly reducing your cloud budget.

Throw in the education and non-profit discounts offered through Microsoft, and those organizations will save even more money.
  • VMware Replacement: For customers left in the lurch by VMware’s recent changes, this solution provides an enterprise-grade path forward without the enterprise-grade sticker price.

You can ensure that your organization can maintain a hypervisor and on-prem infrastructure without breaking the bank.

  • Azure Integration: This solution integrates tightly with Azure, allowing for simplified management through the Azure portal. This makes moving workloads between on-prem and cloud environments easy, offering flexibility and operational efficiency. Critical services can be migrated with just a few clicks.

Your Cloud/Hybrid Cloud Strategy

This solution aligns with both cloud and hybrid cloud strategies for non-enterprise organizations, offering a scalable and future-proof setup that can be adapted to changing needs and evolving technologies.

With a hybrid cloud approach, Lenovo + Azure Stack HCI allows small organizations to grow organically, adding nodes as needed without overwhelming initial investments. This flexibility can be crucial for entities with unpredictable growth patterns or fluctuating workloads.

Finding the Right Solution

We’re confident that the combination of Lenovo, Azure Stack HCI, and HBS can provide you with a significant and valuable solution. With cost savings, a viable replacement for VMware, and seamless Azure integration, it’s an ideal choice for small businesses, educational institutions, and non-profits.

If you’re looking to develop a robust cloud or hybrid strategy, or if you’re looking for a solution that can save you money, benefit your organization, and is tailored to your goals and needs, reach out to HBS today for a consultation.