Today, Hyperconvergence Infrastructure it is one of the fastest-growing methods for deploying IT in the data center, as IT departments look for ways to adjust to their new role in business and new demands that are placed on them.
Gartner expects it to go from zero in 2012 to a $5 billion market by 2019, becoming the category leader by revenue in pre-integrated full-stack infrastructure products. The category also includes reference architectures, integrated infrastructure, and integrated stacks.
Gartner defines HCIS as a platform offering shared compute and storage resources, based on software-defined storage, software-defined compute, commodity hardware and a unified management interface. Hyperconverged systems deliver their main value through software tools, commoditizing the underlying hardware.
It is Different from the Traditional IT Infrastructure!
Traditional IT infrastructures were made up of the proverbial technology silos. They included experts in networking, storage, systems administration, and software. But much of that has changed over the past decade or so as virtualization has become a prominent technology tying networks and servers together.
Converged systems are a natural progression from traditional IT infrastructure, which are commonly silos of systems and operations. In these legacy environments, there may be separate administrative groups and systems for storage, servers, and network.
The storage group, for example, handles the purchasing, provisioning, and support of the storage infrastructure. The storage group usually maintains storage system architecture and the relationship with the storage hardware vendor. The same situation exists for the servers and the network groups. The concept of converged systems combines two or more of these infrastructure components as a pre-engineered solution.
How & Why Companies are using it?
Today, it’s used primarily to deploy general-purpose workloads, virtual desktop infrastructure, analytics (Hadoop clusters for example), and for remote or branch office workloads. In fewer cases, companies use it to run mission critical applications, server virtualization, or high-performance storage. In yet fewer instances, hyperconverged infrastructure underlie private or hybrid cloud or those agile environments that support rapid software-release cycles.
A hyper-converged data center eliminates the storage silo and its dedicated network. This relieves businesses from the need to maintain expertise in the storage array and network. In addition, hyper-convergence usually removes the need to manage the logical unit numbers, presentation and storage paths that come with a storage area network (SAN). This removes the need for dedicated expertise and allows IT teams to focus on other parts of data center and application stacks.
Gartner expects this to change, as the market evolves and users become more familiar with the architecture.
Gartner expects it to go from zero in 2012 to a $5 billion market by 2019, becoming the category leader by revenue in pre-integrated full-stack infrastructure products.
How Can Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Help?
Reduce complexity and costs
A hyperconverged infrastructure also opens the door to evaluating more powerful, efficient and cost-saving technologies. If an organization wants to experiment with or deploy software-defined private clouds or a virtual desktop infrastructure, hyperconverged systems provide the ideal means of getting up and running quickly, causing minimum stress to IT staff and resources. Hyperconvergence provides a fast and cost-effective way to escape an overcomplicated monstrosity of an infrastructure that has been created over time.
Rejuvenates your Hardware
IT organizations often purchase, and replace, entire virtualization platforms together. This is an ideal time to evaluate hyper-converged products for your next infrastructure. By deploying a hyper-converged data center, it is likely that the future process of refreshing the hardware will be far simpler than replacing virtualization platforms en masse. Hyper-convergence generally allows node-by-node replacement to update a cluster, meaning there are no large outages or long VM migrations to get a new infrastructure in place.
Simpler & Scalable
The very design of a hyper-converged infrastructure is focused on simplicity. Given that compute, network and storage elements are all integrated in one housing, this avoids having a person who will manage each component separately.
Hyper-converged systems take traditional convergence to the next level. Generally, converged systems are made of separate components built to work well together, while hyper-converged ones are modular systems designed to scale out by adding modules.
It’s important to keep in mind that hyperconvergence is just one of the approaches to infrastructure and not the ultimate answer to the IT department’s problems. Hyper-converged systems bring the advantages of simple designs, decreased administrative overhead, and simplified vendor management to highly virtualized environments. Make sure you consider the systems’ shortcomings before you make a decision to adopt hyper-convergence.