Hyperconverged architecture is the future of data centers and server providers. Companies want access to simplified, scalable IT services. They increasingly opt for converged and hyperconverged infrastructure solutions that combine storage and processes in a single physical or virtual device.
Hyperconverged systems run on commodity components, reducing deployment and maintenance costs.
They are also easy to manage. Let’s take a detailed look at what makes this approach different and consider the benefits that HCI offers.
HCI in a Nutshell
Traditional server architecture includes three separate tiers with different components used for data storage, computing, and networking needs.
To run a server you needed to install and connect at least three devices, which made server management time-intensive and complicated.
These heterogeneous environments were constantly creating compatibility issues that required extensive troubleshooting. Updates were another problem.
The next step in the evolution of datacenter hardware was the creation of converged infrastructure.
Separate physical devices were combined into a single “box” to reduce compatibility issues, electricity consumption, and cooling needs, and use available floor space more efficiently.
Hyperconverged infrastructure takes this approach even further, offering a single virtualized device instead of a physical “box”.
HCI runs on standard x86 servers, is controlled by a software layer, and uses software-defined storage.
HCI removes complexity and improves performance by getting rid of compatibility issues and the constant need for hardware optimization.
A homogeneous HCI environment speeds up the deployment and integration processes, allowing your IT team to spend time on more meaningful tasks.
Another name for HCI is ultra-converged infrastructure. There are two ways in which HCI solutions can be deployed on a piece of hardware or a hypervisor.
They include APIs and virtual machine translation. If you use special convergence software you can access locations running different hypervisors and translate VMs between them.
APIs, on the other hand, allow companies to use distributed public cloud components in a single virtual space, merge private and public architecture and integrate with different hypervisors if they need to scale.
Main Benefits of Hyperconverged Systems:
- Better reliability, performance, and security.
- Effortless scalability allows you to expand by adding more virtual nodes.
- Operations and upgrades are centralized and automated, removing needless complexities.
- You don’t have to depend on multiple IT vendors to perform daily operations.
- HCI is affordable and cost-effective because it doesn’t use specialized hardware.
- HCI requires less power, space, and cooling than other solutions.
- Reduced hiring costs due to simple management.
- Rapid application development is possible due to streamlined productivity which can lead to better profitability.
- The absence of discrete hardware components reduces the risk of hardware issues.
- You can manage even a large HCI system through a single interface, greatly reducing the amount of maintenance needed.
- Better mobility due to using virtual machines instead of physical servers.
- No need for additional third-party backup. HCI uses virtual machines that have a built-in backup feature and can replicate backup data between instances.
According to experts, the global hyperconvergence market will continue to grow at least until 2023. Large companies are already expanding their HCI use.
So, if you are looking for an extremely scalable IT solution for your business that doesn’t require extensive technical knowledge of different systems and hardware units and can be controlled through a single interface, then HCI is your choice.
From the business point of view, HCI is a worthy investment, as it reduces operating costs, minimizes your reliance on multiple IT vendors and dedicated experts.
Typical HCI can be deployed in a few hours and then configured to better suit your business and technical needs.
You don’t have to overcommit with HCI. Starting with a single node is an affordable approach for smaller companies.
You can pay only for resources you need and scale as your business continues to grow.
When a Company Should Switch To HCI?
There are many areas where a company can benefit from using an HCI solution. General-purpose workloads like infrastructure servers, databases, file servers, and so on can perform better in an HCI environment.
If you want your databases to operate smoothly, increasing employee productivity or reducing customer waiting time (if it’s a database for your e-commerce project), switching to HCI is recommended.
If you need to increase storage or performance, you can simply add new nodes.
Write- and read-intensive applications like analytics and logging can also benefit from using HCI.
Hyperconverged systems offer better data protection and availability, allowing for extremely fast disaster recovery. If you process a lot of valuable or sensitive data, you might consider switching to HCI.
HCI is the best option if you have physical space constraints or have to manage remote infrastructure. Testing infrastructure and migrating data across different sites can also be performed in an HCI environment.
Hyperconverged infrastructure is affordable and cost-effective. More and more companies are opting for HCI for their daily IT needs.
Hyperconvergence will continue to be one of the most important trends in server visualization in the next decade. Thanks to its efficiency, simplicity, and improved performance, hyperconverged infrastructure is well worth the initial investment costs.