What is a hyperconverged infrastructure?
Hyper-converged infrastructure is a software-defined IT framework that replaces the traditional data center by combining virtualized computing (hypervisor), virtualized networking, and software-defined storage, in a single, federated platform. By decoupling the data center from physical systems and operating in a virtual environment, hyperconverged infrastructure affords greater flexibility for deployment and for sharing computing resources across the organization.
What are the benefits of a hyperconverged infrastructure?
Hyperconverged infrastructure is architected to be simpler and more flexible to manage than traditional enterprise storage infrastructure, and better able to support today’s software-defined services. Because the hyperconverged infrastructure replaces the cost of purchasing and maintaining all the traditional physical components of a traditional data center with virtualized systems, it can be operated more efficiently and at a lower overall cost. Among the benefits most often cited for operating a hyperconverged infrastructure environment are:
- Cost efficiency: replacing hardware with virtual systems lowers capital expenditures and lowers overall cost of operation;
- Increased flexibility: Hyperconverged infrastructure gives IT operations the ability to make necessary changes to operational policies, capacity, and workloads as needed;
- Increased reliability: Operating in a virtual environment affords more consistent service delivery and greater visibility into overall network performance;
- Resource scalability and efficiency: Rather than building capacity against future projections, HCI allows organizations to operate at current level of need;
- Simpler deployment: With hyperconverged infrastructure, IT operations managers can easily move workloads as needed, and deploy and support virtual resources when and where needed; and,
- Software-defined everything: with IT trending toward more virtual and software-defined resources, hyperconverged infrastructure is architected to natively support these systems, future-proofing investments in hyperconvergence.
Hyperconverged infrastructure is often described as replicating the advantages of cloud computing, but at enterprise scale.
Hyperconverged Infrastructure vs. the Cloud
For enterprises considering options for a technology refresh, HCI can provide the agility of public cloud resources, but without giving up control of the resources needed to operate and maintain their own on-premises systems. And while HCI vs. Cloud is not an either-or situation, there are a number of advantages to using HCI instead of, or in addition to, public cloud resources. For example, because hyperconverged infrastructure draws on local computing resources and not on access to the internet via public infrastructure, HCI may be more reliable in the event of a DDoS attack, natural disaster, or other mass outage incident. HCI may also help to address issues of maintaining compliance with regulations pertaining to cross-border data movement and security.
What are some hyperconverged infrastructure vendors?
- Dell EMC
- IBM Red Hat
- Scale Computing