Hyperconvergence: The Smart Way to Handle Mission-Critical Workloads
Hyperconverged infrastructure minimizes data center complexity, resulting in cost savings, simplified management and scalability.
With demands for data center capacity and energy costs growing, it became necessary to find a way to increase computing capacity without increasing data center floor space (IT sprawl), cooling and power requirements. The solution? Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI).
Data centers have traditionally been constructed with a silo approach, reserving specific sets of resources for individual functions or business applications. About five years ago, the industry began leveraging HCI, a data center strategy that eliminates silos and allows applications to share servers, storage space and networking, using software to optimize storage and compute resources.
HCI is an intelligent solution to the problem of ever-growing, ever-complicated data centers, and it provides additional benefits, such as:
- Cost savings. The initial investment for HCI is less expensive than traditional networking systems—you purchase one solution versus separate servers, storage and computing resources. Additionally, HCI environments are more efficient, saving power and cooling costs.
- Low maintenance. HCI minimizes storage capacity management complexity through a single dashboard that shows CPU, memory and storage utilization rates. This is an especially appealing feature to companies with limited in-house IT resources.
- Scalability. HCI makes it easy to expand capacity or storage. You can invest in the capacity you need today and easily add modules to scale when new business applications are deployed or your company grows. Furthermore, hyperconvergence works at the storage controller software layer to ensure the more appliances that are added, the greater performance and capacity. Next-generation HCI products, such as Cisco HyperFlex, also enable companies to add branch locations and centrally manage their hyperconverged environments.
- Data protection. Hyperconverged environments are designed to facilitate business continuity and data backups. HCI protects data with an efficient use of resources, and because data is managed from a central console, IT can respond to problems more quickly.
- Agility. In an HCI environment, data is distributed across all servers and virtual disk drives. It can use available resources to handle spikes in demand, and because the system is managed through a single pane of glass, it’s easy to migrate workloads. This ensures consistent performance throughout your system.
- User experience. HCI enables the creation of software products and services and the ability to deploy them quickly through the enterprise, giving you the ability to provide tools that can boost employee productivity and customer satisfaction.
Additional Benefits of a an HCI Strategy
One of the primary benefits of HCI is that it allows companies to standardize their infrastructures with one vendor. This eliminates finger-pointing such as one hardware vendor blaming a second hardware vendor or the operating system vendor if something doesn’t work, which can eat up hours of time trying to get to the real culprit.
With HCI, it’s still possible there could be questions about operating systems or business applications, but software vendors will certify their applications to hypervisors, so finger-pointing should be minimized.
To further mitigate HCI problems, it’s imperative to work with a qualified solutions provider that can help with the product selection process, provide implementation and support and recommend affordable options for adding modules when your business needs to scale.
Your company’s data storage needs and demands on your IT infrastructure will only continue to grow. Consider HCI as a solution to manage your infrastructure today—it will also provide a way to scale to meet increasing demands in the future.
Adam Davis, CEO, Next Dimension Inc