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Why Data Centers Must Adapt For Hyperconvergence

By: Blair Felter on May 10, 2018

Hyperconvergence is a more recent development in terms of strides taken to make data centers more flexible and simple to manage, where hosting servers and applications are managed together.

We’ve already seen this integrated system grow exponentially in the last few years of its existence, but Garner says hyperconvergence infrastructure (HCI) is poised to be the “fastest-growing segment of the overall market for integrated systems, reaching almost $5 billion, which is 24 percent of the market, by 2019.”

Many businesses are turning to HCI because of the ease of management of public cloud-based workloads within your own data center and on your own hardware, which has both operational and cost ownership benefits.

A hyperconvergence data center is a single software-driven appliance that combines computing, storage, and networking in an effort to reduce complexity and increase scalability. Without a hyperconvergence infrastructure, your data center has multiple networks of processors with storage devices and memory caches. With HCI, multiple nodes may be batched together, creating pools of shared resources, and provides the adaptability of a public cloud infrastructure while still maintaining control of on-premise hardware.

The following are key elements of a data center that are collected together but managed individually:

  • Computing capacity: How much data a computer system may contain.
  • Memory: Information stored in a computer for immediate use.
  • File Storage: Stored data in a hierarchical structure.

With HCI, you may create pools of shared data, where similar workloads are packaged together to create efficiencies, which solves issues of computing capacity, memory and file storage problems. With the increase of virtualization, enterprises and startups alikes are recognizing hyperconvergence as the fastest-growing method for IT deployment in data centers. The HCI method is far more agile and cost effective as replacements for legacy storage systems that are usually cobbled together.

How Hyperconvergence Is Being Used In Data Centers

With the help of hyperconvergence, the components of your IT infrastructure are together and visible, whereas with a converged infrastructure the components are separated and often discrete. Because HCI functions as a “full stack” that implements software-defined elements virtually, greater levels of automation are achieved for buildup and scaling, resource delegation, and infrastructure de-siloing.

Buildup And Scaling
By packaging elements or nodes of data, hyperconvergence infrastructure makes it easier to build up and scale your data center. By creating a virtualization enabling building block, your data center is inherently scalable and truly optimized for machine performance.

Resource Delegation
HCI allows for self-service provisioning and mixed workload consolidation. Batching resources onto one platform helps avoid performance problems due to capacity, a main data center pain point. Through tiering storage, you can delegate what should sit in primary storage for more immediate, day to day use, and backup storage for lesser used data as your storage environment grows.

Infrastructure De-siloing

Hodge podge data centers are creating IT silos, an uncommunicative IT infrastructure environment that’s difficult to control and manage, especially when responding to demand. With HCI’s ability to simplify systems and storage, this creates a more agile system overall — and it requires far less initial planning and sizing via an on-demand procurement model.

3 Key Benefits Of Hyperconvergence Data Centers

Although there are many potential business benefits to employing HCI, the three factors that bring the most value are simplification, the ease of change, and the ease of monitoring and security.

  • Simplification: This is the core outcome of buildup and scaling, resource delegation, and infrastructure de-siloing. Because HCI is software-defined storage technology, you get a single, highly available and redundant storage capacity pool as it aggregates existing hard drives within a cluster.
  • Ease of change: With your workloads existing in a singular administrative environment, it’s easier to migrate workloads from one location to another. HCI makes it easier to launch new cloud services and package and migrate new workloads, so deployment time is substantially reduced.
  • Ease of monitoring/security: HCI improves the process of collecting and analyzing information to detect IT threats via adapted security solutions that provide modern defenses while maintaining performance and the health of the machines.

By converging all the resources necessary to run applications, you converge the skill sets into a cloud stack — one infrastructure — or, a full stack in which you can immediately provision your applications.

Data Centers Must Adapt For Hyperconvergence

Beyond the technical aspects of a better performing IT infrasture, there are direct business benefits. From an operational standpoint, HCI may replace common tools for managing systems today, such as Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM), because it consolidates all data center management under a singular model that upholds workloads over parts.

You’re also going to benefit from specialized streamlining: Instead of relying on multiple specialists —storage, network, computing — you may use an infrastructure specialist that manages a full stack.

Hyperconvergence requires a change in mindset, one in which you’re moving away from segmented elements to a full infrasture stack. According to a recent SDX Central article, IDC analyst Eric Sheppard says that companies’ awareness about HCI and comfort level with the technology is at an “all-time high.” Sheppard also goes on to say, “The most fundamental driver is the operational simplicity… by moving towards software-defined, eliminating a storage-area network or virtualizing it, you still get the benefits of mobility and networking associated with SANs, but you do it without building out several silos of infrastructure. You end up with this truly converged, consolidated infrastructure.”

Essentially, this statement boils down to a singular value proposition: HCI brings together granular IT segments to centralize and streamline data center operations.

Gleaned from a Biz Tech article on hyperconvergence, the streamlined and highly scalable infrastructure offers cost savings everyone from enterprises to medium- and small-sized business can take advantage of. By reducing vendors, you may ease management and oversight of procurement, while consolidating equipment reduces cost of ownership.

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