An Enterprise Look at Hyperconverged Infrastructure

  Josh Cronin     Nov 08, 2016

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There is always a lot of buzz around the ‘next’ big IT infrastructure technology, but how much have you heard about hyperconverged infrastructure? It can be hard to sift through the articles and expert opinions for what is the next best solution for your IT environment, and we have seen this through the years, but hyperconverged is worth the look.

The promise of hyperconverged infrastructure is simple: to unite varying compute, storage and network components with software-defined management tools. This solution helps data centers break free of the silos inherent in traditional architectures that often do more to contain business innovation than they do to drive it. Once the hyperconverged infrastructure components are deployed, they support mission-critical IT initiatives like cloud, DevOps, big data and more.

Convergence is leveling the playing field for businesses of all sizes by helping them modernize their data centers toward the goal of becoming software-defined. Yet, with the promise of infrastructure convergence, there are some inherent deployment risks. The most important consideration is selecting the right approach: converged or hyperconverged infrastructure adoption. According to Technologist Stevie Chambers, hyperconvergence is, “An extension of the overall convergence trend, collapsing the datacenter into an appliance form factor.”

Who Can Benefit from Hyperconvergence?

  • Business consumers can reap the reward of IT service delivery on demand
  • Developers can gain a scalable, reliable platform to support application development and testing
  • Enterprise operations can see economic benefits in the form of increased operational output with a reduction in operational costs

If you think hyperconvergence may be the right solution for your enterprise, read on to get to know this emerging technology.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure: Software-Defined, Flexible

While converged infrastructure is primarily hardware-oriented, scale-up platforms with centralized management, hyperconverged infrastructures are modular solutions enabled by software-defined components. Unlike convergence, compute, storage and network resources are integrated into a single appliance. A software layer is then added as a means to provide centralized automation, management and overall user control. The result is a tightly integrated package of resources to be configured and deployed for any workload that calls for them. This further enables IT to rapidly provision resources whenever the business requires it.

The trend toward hyperconvergence is picking up speed; Gartner estimates hyperconverged integrated systems will be mainstream within the next five years. They see the rise of hyperconvergence as a driver to achieving more dynamic, fabric-based infrastructures that are capable of supporting continuous application delivery. However, delivering modular blocks of infrastructure can be added without the need to take on more significant capital expenses.

3 Common Hyperconvergence Misconceptions

The shift to hyperconvergence can be a big change for IT administrators who are used to more traditional infrastructure deployments. One primary concern is job security; many administrators wonder, “What am I going to do without a storage infrastructure to manage?” The answer is simple: hyperconverged infrastructure allows staff to move away from simply managing components and spend more time developing and writing IT policies that drive business value and security. Let’s explore three common myths about hyperconvergence.

1. Scalability: One misconception of hyperconvergence surrounds scalability. Advances in storage virtualization from vendors like VMware, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell EMC deliver robust storage scalability while Flash technology has enabled hyperconverged appliances to offer a variety of storage solutions. As the cost of Flash decreases, it’s now possible to build a more affordable high-performance device.

2. Flexibility: Converged appliances are less flexible in their ability to adapt to workloads; your enterprise’s demand must be forecasted when the investment is made. However, hyperconverged appliances don't require an up-front estimate and detailed vision. In fact, it's possible to build a hyperconverged solution using different storage tiers; you can customize an approach based on exact performance requirements as they arise.

3. Cost: With the power and functionality that can be gained from hyperconvergence, some might think that it's more expensive to deploy than a converged infrastructure approach. Actually, it could cost up to ten times more to implement converged infrastructure because it’s a single pool of resources that carries a higher up-front capital expense. However, hyperconverged infrastructure enables IT to spread the cost out over time.

Hyperconvergence could be the right solution to help your enterprise manage your data center more efficiently. For more information, contact our experienced team of engineers today!

Tags  software defined data center hyperconvergence IT Transformation

Josh Cronin

Written by Josh Cronin

Josh Cronin, Presales Engineer at WEI, provides technical guidance and system design consultation for our customers during the presales process. Josh’s areas of expertise include converged and hyperconverged infrastructure, virtualization, and the software defined technologies that make up the SDDC. Josh holds several certifications from Cisco and VMware.

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