IT Focus Area: infrastructure operations
August 20, 2018
Honey, I Shrunk My Silos: 10 Benefits of a Hyperconverged Cloud Infrastructure
What happens when you try to use last-generation IT assets to solve today’s data-driven challenges? You’re bound to experience a world of inefficiencies.
With our industry evolving at a velocity that seems to be increasing every year, it is getting harder to keep up. IT leaders are charged with the task of adapting to the digital IT era and even more so, delivering on solutions that are faster to deploy. One thing is for sure, both converged and hyperconverged systems provide a level of operational efficiency that extends far beyond servers and storage.
Many IT teams are discovering that a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is proving to be a better infrastructure of choice. HCI addresses a broad range of use cases, including end-user computing, private cloud, and consolidation of business-critical databases and applications. It is because of these use cases that analysts forecast a surge in the adoption of HCI. In 2014, Gartner predicted the hyperconverged market would grow from $371.5 million to nearly $5 billion by 2019. Today, the hyperconverged market is expected to double by 2021, reaching an astounding $10 billion.
Not all hyperconverged solutions are created equal. Here are five key questions to ask before Investing in hyperconvergence:
- What is my organization’s budget?
- What are my scalability requirements?
- Am I ready to move toward a software-defined data center?
- Do I need my solution to integrate with a legacy environment or can it stand alone?
- Do I have enough IT staff to manage this solution?
Next, you’ll need to pick which type of hyperconverged solution will best fit your infrastructure. The question to ultimately ask yourself is what variables are you looking for in your next IT infrastructure upgrade?
Three Common Types of HCI Architectures
- Hypervisor with Storage in a Virtual Machine (VM): The storage in a VM architecture relies on a dedicated storage VM on each node to provide storage services across the cluster. This architecture offers the smallest entry footprint and broad platform compatibility with popular hypervisors.
- Integrated Hypervisor and Storage: The integrated hypervisor and storage architecture adds storage functions to the hypervisor itself. This integration of storage with the hypervisor is a primary feature of HCI. An HCI solution that is built on a combination of technologies delivers a faster infrastructure to serve the demands of your business.
- Independent Hypervisor and Storage: The independent hypervisor and storage architecture runs the hypervisor and storage OS on separate nodes.This architecture offers flexibility and scale. Users can also add compute and storage according to your needs. In addition to the scalability, an independent hypervisor and storage provides significant benefits in terms of licensing.
Primary HCI Use Cases
Private Cloud: Enterprise IT teams today are striking a smarter balance between on-premises workloads, running on private cloud, and workloads in the public cloud. The success of the hybrid cloud approach requires a private cloud that can deliver agility and self-service. The majority of today’s data centers are now part of a larger hybrid cloud environment. Unfortunately, many solutions lack the services to allow private cloud to become part of an integrated hybrid cloud solution. The right HCI solution will allow you to accelerate the delivery of your private cloud services with an enterprise-scale hyperconverged infrastructure. More importantly, the right HCI architecture enables your private cloud environment to expand with no disruptions or costly surprises.
End-User Computing: Automation, automation, automation. One of the common goals of IT organizations is to have the ability to automate all routine tasks. The ability to automate eliminates the risk of user errors associated with manual operations. On the silo front, imagine being able to add CPU and memory resources without adding storage, or vice-versa. HCI allows you to scale on your terms and add the appropriate resources. Now, your desktop VMs can run on the same HCI system as other data center workloads. Ultimately, HCI both simplifies and accelerates end-user computing (EUC) deployments by delivering predictable performance and simplified operations on a highly flexible and efficient cloud architecture that enables all virtual desktops and applications to run flawlessly.
Workload Consolidation:One of the biggest challenges in any service provider environment is delivering predictable performance. When you consolidate diverse workloads on the same infrastructure, activity generated from one application can affect the performance of another. The right HCI cluster can support a mix of workloads including databases, virtual desktops, and cloud-native apps. This ensures every application gets the performance it needs with no impact to other applications.
10 Benefits of HCI
The key decision that many IT teams are faced with is what infrastructure to choose to facilitate modernization. Making a shift in infrastructure can be a tall order, but the benefits of HCI far exceed the challenges of adoption.
- Simplify Operations: HCI does not require any expert knowledge or intervention from the business.
- Accelerate Agile Development: As a cloud solution, this infrastructure enables DevOps/lean operations and analytics applications, making it a bridge builder between these worlds.
- Guaranteed Performance: Policy-based, quality of service engine (QoS) technology, ensures all applications are guaranteed to run without performance slumps. This also eliminates the noisy neighbor effect.
- Consolidate Workloads: This enables you to run a wide variety of mixed workloads at higher densities with guaranteed performance levels.
- Flash Capabilities: When utilizing flash technology with HCI,users can benefit from the advanced features of self-healing, inline dedupe and simplified operations.
- Automation: Thanks to the native Rest API, all tasks of the application lifecycle can be automated. This means fewer mistakes, fewer reoccurring tasks and no hassles for upgrades.
- Pay For What You Need: Users can grow compute and storage independently.
- Optimize Your Software Investment: HCI technologies requires fewer CPUs in the server and thus fewer software licenses. Additionally, no resources are stranded from applications or solutions that need them.
- Deep Vendor Integration: Thanks to deep integration, you can continue to leverage your existing backup monitoring tools.
- Smash Silos: Users can enjoy freedom for their data from the edge to the core to the cloud.
Overall, one of the most effective ways for enterprise clients to take advantage of HCI technology is by consolidating all of their applications, including the ones that previously required separate silos. Stop dedicating costly infrastructure silos for end-user computing. It’s time to start using your resources more efficiently.
With a smart HCI strategy your business can not only eliminate silos, but also predictably run applications and increase infrastructure agility. Implementing HCI can feel daunting, but by asking the right questions, you can get a clear picture of your business needs and the HCI model that suits them.