What is Hyper-converged Infrastructure?

movingtohyperconverged

What is Hyperconvergence, what are the benefits for the IT professional and ultimately the advantages for businesses? Why should I consider this technology before I buy the next server or storage device? And why is Dunedin IT excited by this technology?

If you think of existing IT systems like toy bricks that come in all sorts of colours. Blue might be the network brick, pink is the storage brick, black is the memory brick, and so on. Want to add more capacity, then make sure you buy the right set of bricks and connect them in the right order.

With the Hyper-converged infrastructure, simply buy another red brick that houses all the complexities of storage, networking, processing etc. Just plug that red brick in and go.

Technical Perspective

So that’s our simple definition, let’s quickly look at this from a slightly technical view, by defining where server technology has come from in relation to the small business environments.

Physical Servers

So in the begin, we had your regular server living on one physical box. Need another server, then you need another physical box.

physicalservers

Virtualised Servers

Then came along virtualisation and you could run multiple servers from one physical box, nice!
typical-virtual-server-setup

However, it does mean many eggs (servers) in one basket (physical box).

Hyperconverged Cluster

Hyperconverged then takes Virtualisation forward, joins up multiple physical boxes and presents it as a single pane of glass or what we like to refer as the Computing Platform.

hyperconverged-cluster

Benefits of Hyper-converged System

  • Ongoing Investment – Memory, storage and processing are present as one, it increases the efficiency of IT resources available to the business. Continuing our red brick metaphor, every time you purchase a new red brick, you contribute to the collective of red bricks.
  • Deployment– Is quick and scalable compared to traditional systems, just stack the red bricks together.
  • Business continuity – Is built-in, giving you high availability at the office and offsite in the data centre. If a red brick fails, then the other red bricks will automatically take the load without any interaction from IT staff. Think of it like RAID for physical servers.
  • Space & Power – A typical Hyper-converged infrastructure will require less power and physical space
  • Manageability – System resources are connected, business continuity is built in, scalability is a breeze, everything to manage the Hyper-converged infrastructure is centralised in one place. The reduced IT surface area should also help with security.
  • Cost – All of which saves the company money and time, freeing up IT departments to focus on value-add projects.

Disadvantages of Hyper-converged

No such thing as a silver bullet in IT, so a couple of slightly negative points to consider. This will, of course, depend on your company requirements and your preferred Hyper-converged vendor.

  • Vendor Lock-in – Typically Hyper-converged vendors are not interoperable with one another.
  • Vendor Track Record – Hyper-converged is new and disruptive technology, which has produce new vendors. Some businesses can be put off by new and unknown vendors, which ones are going to be around in five years time?
  • Specialist Requirements – If your business computing needs heavily favour processing or storage, traditional systems may still provide a more attractive solution.
  • Latest Technology – The latest cutting edge technology is always going to be found in traditional systems first. Hyper-converged will typically require extensive testing before the latest processor, chipset or hard drive can be incorporated.
  • Changing IT Strategy – Moving to a Hyper-converged strategy is going require abandoning some of your existing investments. Full benefits of hyper-converged environment might not be realised until the majority of IT systems live in this new world.

Why is Dunedin IT excited about Hyper-converged?

Price – A couple of years ago, it didn’t matter how much time and money a Hyper-converged infrastructure would save the business when the cost was more than the annual turned. Today it’s becoming real world, small business affordable.

Cloud – A Hyper-converged infrastructure has the promise to deliver high availability, scalability and easy of management. Sounds a bit like the promises of cloud computing? Well, that’s because a cloud service provider will use some form of Hyperconvergence strategy. So when businesses are thinking where to run their IT services,  in-house or in the cloud, they now have a 3rd choice, Hyper-converged solution which can live in the office or in the data centre.

If you like to find out more about Hyper-converged solutions, which vendor will best suit your business, mitigate some of the disadvantages, ensure current IT investment isn’t wasted and how Hyper-converged infrastructure can solve your Business Continuity problems – Please contact David or Jamie on 0131 225 2215 or email info@dunedinit.co.uk

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