What Is Hyper-Converged Infrastructure? | Evolution and Benefits

What-Is-Hyper-Converged-Infrastructure-Evolution-and-Benefits

What-Is-Hyper-Converged-Infrastructure-Evolution-and-Benefits

The rapid growth of IT resources puts data center operators under intense pressure to provide. Introducing hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) implies that data centers may be adaptable and flexible, allowing quick equipment reconfiguration.

HCI enables enterprises to acquire the essential building blocks of computation, storage, and networking in modular pieces and then relocate those resources as required using the software. In this guide, we’ll look at what hyper-converged infrastructure is, how it evolves, and its benefits.

 

What Exactly Is Hyperconverged Infrastructure?

The definition of hyper-converged infrastructure combines servers and storage into a distributed infrastructure platform with intelligent software to generate adaptable basic components that replace conventional infrastructure, including separate servers, storage arrays, and storage networks.

Additionally, HCI mixes commodity data center servers with locally connected storage devices (spin disc or flash) and is driven by a distributed software layer to minimize specific pain points associated with old infrastructure.

 

An IT Evolution for Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Until recently, the standard in data center management was to regard each of the three core disciplines of business infrastructure as a separate area of competence.

Hence, unsurprisingly, this disciplined approach to IT resulted in massive waste. Application administrators and developers, responsible for delivering an excellent customer experience, instinctively overprovisioned their resource requests to meet future peak needs.

Simultaneously, the storage, server, and networking teams overprovisioned their resource pools to meet unanticipated future requests from service teams. This systematic approach to IT resulted in massive waste. It was common to see a data center running under this architecture at 50% or less efficiency.

 

Convergence Is on the Rise

Converged infrastructure solutions address this inefficiency by combining server and storage resources into a single appliance controlled by a virtualization layer. This strategy minimizes the requirement for specialist storage management knowledge and puts storage closer to the servers, reducing the need to manage storage area networks (SANs) independently.

IT workers may manage a converged infrastructure solution’s storage and server capabilities from a single management interface, simplifying data center administration. This method enables dynamic resource reallocation as processing needs change. If an application wants additional processing power, managers may quickly transfer CPUs away from lower-priority services to fulfill the demand, then return them to the resource pool when no longer required. Similarly, if an application wants extra storage, it may be provided just in time from the centralized storage pool. This method eliminates the need to overprovision resources on a per-service basis.

Moreover, while converged architecture tackles some of the conventional data center’s inefficiencies, it also introduces new difficulties that make data center administration more difficult.

The capacity to grow the data center correctly is one of the most important. The fact that converged infrastructure solutions use appliances that integrate computation and storage on a single device may seem enticing at first glance — and it is a substantial advantage over conventional designs.

However, such a method makes adding capacity challenging since it presupposes that the business will need to grow both storage and computing simultaneously and in a proportion that is accessible as an appliance.

What if the business has surplus storage capacity but needs additional computational resources? An integrated device will contribute to the excess while diminishing data center efficiency.

 

Convergence Evolves to Hyperconvergence

By modularizing storage and computation resources on commodity hardware, hyperconverged infrastructure solves the basic inefficiency of converged infrastructure. The HCI platform provides a software-defined data center solution that dynamically distributes resources across applications and can be readily scaled as the organization’s technological demands develop. Other benefits of hyperconvergence for the data center include the ability for administrators to employ value-added services inside the HCI stack.

In addition to facilitating resource mobility across workloads, HCI aids high availability and data security initiatives by providing administrators with a single interface to change workloads when resources become unavailable. It also offers storage diversity, which simultaneously protects against the breakdown of many hardware devices.

 

Hyperconverged Infrastructure Is Growing

HCI is rapidly expanding as technology evolves, and enterprises see the advantages of this approach to data center management. According to one research, the overall size of the hyper-converged industry was $1.3 billion in 2016 and is expected to almost double to $2.5 billion in 2017.

Furthermore, experts expect the market to double again in the following two years, hitting $5 billion in 2019. While this is still a tiny portion of worldwide IT expenditure, the almost quadrupling of the market size in just three years shows an undeniable trend in IT buying.

 

The Top 7 Benefits of Hyperconverged Infrastructure

HCI provides seven significant benefits to organizations looking to upgrade their data centers.

  • Quick deployment. The commodity hardware used in HCI environments allows organizations to quickly deploy extra storage and processing capacity in the proportions required by business applications.
  • Workload mobility. Because of the dynamic nature of HCI, IT applications and workloads may be easily migrated between platforms when demands change and capacity varies.
  • Data efficiency. HCI provides more performance in a smaller form size, increasing storage solution efficiency. HCI solutions may also merge conventional spinning discs and solid-state drives and move data across storage mediums to efficiently balance cost and performance.
  • Scalability and flexibility. Hyperconvergence helps IT teams accommodate changing business IT resource needs by transferring resources just in time. Instead of expecting the organization to adapt to the technology platform’s capability, the IT infrastructure scales to meet its demands.
  • Data protection. Consolidating storage inside the HCI platform enables enterprises to rethink their information security solutions and manage data protection across the whole infrastructure rather than server by server.
  • High availability. By providing an extra layer of high reliability, HCI enables enterprises to enhance fault tolerance. Organizations may use redundancy in an HCI platform to separate workloads from the effect of failing to compute nodes and storage devices in addition to controlling availability at the application layer.
  • Cost efficiency. HCI reduces the requirement for significant overprovisioning, enabling the organization to acquire more capacity and share capacity across various workloads to satisfy peak demand without idle storage and computing resources.

 

Conclusion

Hyperconverged infrastructure application cases will evolve as organizations relocate to software-defined data centers, private and hybrid clouds, and the edge. By breaking down barriers and simplifying procedures, HCI positions IT to better support business goals as the pace of innovation and change intensifies.