Understanding the ‘Hype’ in Hyperconvergence
Everywhere you turn, whether on Twitter or tech news sites, you see articles that extol the benefits of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). Surprisingly enough, general understanding of HCI remains very low, despite the frequency of the buzzword’s use in the media and on social media.
So what is all the Hype around HCI?
Organizations always look for ways to reduce their time to market for business critical applications. Lines of Business feel pressure to deploy applications faster; and, in turn, IT feels pressure to react faster. Hyperconvergence allows IT to deploy resources faster by reducing the complexity involved with the architecture. This is achieved by integrating storage, compute, network, management, as well as other services, into an easy-to-consume appliance.
This appliance architecture appeals to most organizations for three reasons:
- Scale – HCI allows IT organizations to predicatively manage and forecast for needed growth. Resources can be bench marked, and every appliance will provide the same amount of resources. This allows forecasting to happen consistently from year to year. As resources are needed, just drop in another appliance. Resources are added to the pool ready for consumption.
- Cost – As mentioned above, adding resources is more predictable. This makes management very happy when you are not asking for extra resources that align outside of budget. Utilizing HCI will also provide lower OpEx costs as IT admins will see a reduction in management times as well as system deployment times.
- Risk – With less systems to manage, and less system dependencies, comes lower overall risk. No longer do you have to worry about the downstream impact of a firmware upgrade or a software patch.
These benefits typically align directly with what businesses look for from IT: be more efficient, manage the budget better, do more with less, focus on innovation, and help the business grow. Utilizing traditional architecture makes meeting these business demands very challenging. IT has been used to building out silos and maintaining all the moving parts; however, with the advancement of cloud computing, business needs IT transformation. If IT does not react and meet the business needs, the business will move on. This is where “shadow IT” comes into play. Shadow IT happens when Lines of Business utilize cloud computing resources outside of IT to fulfill their computing needs.
HCI has greatly assisted in reducing the amount of Shadow IT. Empowering IT to deliver at cloud speeds, while being able to expand resources quickly, has also empowered HCI’s on premise cloud computing like capabilities.
There are many different hardware players in the market that are all developing their version of HCI. Each of these solutions is similar in the fact that they commoditize storage and compute; however, they each meet the business needs a little bit differently. The major differences are the overarching software that powers HCI for each of the vendors. Some will allow replication of data, some assist with backing up data, some add networking solutions, each allows you to scale a little differently, and some support different hypervisors. Whoever the vendor of choice, you will greatly simplify your infrastructure.
All of the Hype that you see and hear about Hyperconvergence is real–there hasn’t been an architecture that aligns directly to the business in many years. Please reach out to Aspire for a deep dive in Hyperconvergence to help you better understand how it could align with your business.