There is a new, growing trend in the world of IT. Hyperconvergence is a word that is gaining steam and getting many IT managers excited. It’s a new approach to managing data centers that is so revolutionary, even small businesses are getting into the game. Take a minute to learn about hyper-convergence. It might be just the hook you need to transform your own tech infrastructure into something more powerful, more competitive and more affordable.
What Is Hyperconvergence?
Hyperconvergence infrastructure (HCI) is an IT framework that aims to combine computation, storage, and networking into one system. The goal is to reduce complexity within the infrastructure and increase flexibility and scalability. More often than not, hyperconvergence is achieved by consolidating hardware, but there are software solutions that can bring existing hardware systems into an HCI framework. Regardless of the method, the goal is to make the components within HCI (networking, computation, and storage) inseparable. This makes adding nodes or modules easier and reduces resource expenditure.
How Does It Aid Infrastructure?
While HCI can involve complex software within its implementation, the purpose is to simplify a data center in design. All of the components of the framework are integrated and managed as a single system. This is how HCI promotes simplicity to reduce management strain. Additionally, a data center can start smaller and add units as they become needed.
Here’s another way to look at it. Any time you need to add networking capacity, computational power or storage to an HCI data center, you simultaneously scale all three. Moreover, this is done by adding a single hardware unit to the system. This dramatically reduces labor efforts, increases flexibility within the system and reduces the total resource investment for maintaining the data center. The a la carte design requires less power, cooling, and space than traditional designs.
How Does Resource Allocation Work?
HCI makes huge gains in the management philosophy. While there are many ways to approach resource allocation, one popular method is with software-defined data center protocols. Under these protocols, program demand defines resource allocation rather than the static design of the system schematic. It’s easy to see how this improves flexibility and allows an HCI framework to handle a wider range of applications.
Now, software-defined allocation is not the only way to achieve hyperconvergence. It’s just an example that highlights the importance of consolidating resources under a model that prioritizes workload over schematics.
Can Any Framework Convert to Hyperconvergence?
Generally speaking, yes. HCI was originally conceptualized to serve virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Today, VDI is only the fourth most popular framework served by HCI vendors. Modern iterations of HCI design have freed it from dependence on predictable scalability.
The most popular systems that implement HCI are databases, file and print services, collaboration (such as with Exchange or SharePoint), VDI, commercial package management (including SAP), and analytics. That covers a huge base, and it is far from an exhaustive list of possible applications.
Hyperconvergence is redefining the landscape of data centers. Not only does HCI efficiency lower the cost of cloud and MSP services, it places the power of local data centers in the hands of even the smallest businesses. The absolute scalability makes HCI designs impressively accessible. Now that you know about it, how will you make HCI work for you?
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About the Author: Jeff Poirior
Jeff brings 25 years of telecommunications and information technology management experience in voice and data networking, server support, and telephony and security; with a significant emphasis on customer service. Prior to joining Valicom, he was chief of the infrastructure support section for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Jeff was the vice president of operations for CC&N, overseeing telecommunications, help desk, data and desk side support services. Prior to that, he served as the associate director of technical resources for Covance, responsible for managing systems and network operations supporting 1700 users in Wisconsin and Virginia. He has also led data center operations at Magnetek Electric, supporting mainframe systems, client/server applications, telephony systems, and computer-aided design. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University and a master’s degree in business administration from University of Phoenix. In addition, Jeff is a past board member of the Wisconsin Telecommunication Association.