What is Hyperconverged Infrastructure?


As an IT expert, if you ever cooperate with the data center,s you surely hear about hyper-converged infrastructure. So let us see how hyperconvergence works.

What is hyperconvergence?

Hyperconvergence is an IT framework that combines storage, computing, and networking into a single physical solution fully managed by software through a single interface reducing data center complexity and increasing scalability.

Hyperconverged platforms have:

  • hypervisor for virtualized computing
  • software-defined storage
  • virtualized networking
  • off-the-shelf servers

What is the difference between converged and Hyperconverged infrastructure?

  • Converged infrastructure relies on hardware and building blocks while Hyperconverged infrastructure is software-defined.
  • Hyperconverged infrastructure is more flexible and scalable than Converged infrastructure.
  • Converged architecture storage is attached directly to the physical server while Hyperconverged while Hyperconverged storage to all compute and virtual machines (VMs)
  • Hyperconverged infrastructure has a more simplified scale-out architecture with commodity servers
  • Converged infrastructure has a large rack-scale while Hyperconverged consists of a 1U or 2U (rack-unit)

Hyper-converged infrastructure HCI technology

What is Hyperconverged Infrastructure?

Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) represents a software-defined IT infrastructure. HCI has datacenter hardware and uses locally attached storage resources. HCI creates flexible building blocks that replace legacy infrastructure such as storage networks, separate servers, storage arrays. Hyper-converged infrastructure has the underlying storage abstractions implemented virtually in software rather than physically in hardware (traditional way).

So, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is a software-defined, unified system that combines all the elements of a traditional data center: storage, compute, networking, and management benefits include lower TCO, increased performance, and greater productivity within IT teams. Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is software-defined as an IT infrastructure that virtualizes all of the elements of conventional “hardware-defined” systems. HCI includes, at a minimum, virtualized computing (a hypervisor), software-defined storage, and virtualized networking (software-defined networking).

 

What can be done with hyper-converged infrastructure?

-True hybrid cloud can be achieved: Manage a mix of VM- and container-based applications,  public cloud, deployed across a mix of the data center, and edge environments with VMware hybrid cloud.

-Extend to the public cloud: Choose an as-a-service option from the largest HCI cloud ecosystem for less time spent managing infrastructure and the faster speed of deployment.

HCI Cons and Drawbacks:

Everything in the world has advantages with some disadvantages. With all the benefits of Hyperconverged Infrastructure, will customers want to use HCI in all the cases, whether having some drawbacks? While HCI has numerous tremendous benefits, there are certainly cons and drawbacks to being considered when looking at HCI solutions. What are these? Are there drawbacks to choosing HCI as a platform for virtualization infrastructure? We will take a look at the following drawbacks:

Hyperconverged Infrastructure cost

As we have already found, many of the advantages of HCI can also be disadvantages too. Due to the lack of granular scaling of resources with HCI, any realized cost savings may be offset by wasting resources from the inability to scale those resources in an HCI environment granularly. Over time, public cloud service costs have steadily increased. In some cases, the total annual cost of utilizing a cloud-based service has become comparable to hosting the service locally, which has recently caused some organizations to take a more objective look at their cloud strategy.

Organizations will need to consider their resource and capacity needs and determine if the proposed HCI solution scales linearly with those requirements are enough or not.

IS HCI solution black box?

It means a lack of transparency of what is in the box and increased vendor lock-in. For the prime use cases of HCI, this is not a particular issue for HCI. Still, it becomes a limiting factor for many larger deployments or more sophisticated IT users, which require control over what building blocks are being used.

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Hyperconverged Infrastructure cloud affinity:

If different manufacturers and different equipment generations are in use, it’s far more likely that the system won’t effectively share resources in a fully elastic manner. Hence these capabilities should not be confused with a true cloud environment.

 

Igor Milosevic
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