Mar 07 2018 Not Your Father’s Hyperconverged Infrastructure
Six Common Pre-Conceived Notions of Hyperconverged Infrastructure
Historically, when we heard “Hyperconverged Infrastructure,” it would bring to mind a few (and rightfully so) pre-conceived ideas of what Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) is about, and where it fits. Those notions included, but were not limited to:
- “HCI only addresses the VDI space”
- “HCI has to run on the vendors’ equipment, and we don’t use or want that”
- “HCI must use VMware and we don’t want to pay for additional licensing”
- “HCI doesn’t address our secondary storage needs”
- “HCI is too difficult to implement and our goal is to reduce complexity”
- “HCI doesn’t have the scale to address the enterprise”
The Evolution of Hyperconverged Infrastructure: Pre-Conceived Notions Debunked
HCI only addresses the VDI space
In the past few years, as HCI has matured and evolved, in terms of scaling, performance, redundancy, and ease of implementation, as well as embracing the hybrid ecosystem model. VDI is no longer the singular use case. File service, data analytics and warehousing, transactional database apps, Dev/Test, etc., are all now taking advantage of HCI’s scale, redundancy, compression, speed, and mission critical resiliency.
HCI has to run on the vendors’ equipment and we don’t use or want that
The evolution of Hyperconverged Architecture has meant embracing, to some degree, hardware independence. Most HCI offerings are now tested and offered on multiple hardware platforms. Further, with the addition of snapshot, cloning, and/or built-in replication automation, data protection is inclusive regardless of the hardware platform.
HCI must use VMware and we don’t want to pay for additional licensing
In the past, VMware, being the most mature hypervisor platform, was a requisite when looking at a HCI solution, as is the case with VMware’s vSAN. However, vendors like Nutanix and SimpliVity now offer additional hypervisor foundations such as Hyper-V. SimpliVity has also added support for KVM, and Nutanix has ratcheted up its own Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) foundation. This foundation has all the features, and in some cases more, than running Nutanix on VMware or Hyper-V, and without the licensing costs inherent in the latter two.
HCI doesn’t address our secondary storage needs
Historically, secondary storage was relegated to less reliable, slow, non-redundant, single-purpose silos. Companies, such as Cohesity, have redefined secondary storage in a hyperconverged context. Cohesity has managed to consolidate all secondary data and management functions into a unified solution. On this novel platform, backup data and infrastructure can now be used to provision test/dev copies, perform in-place searches, and consolidate files and objects.
HCI is too difficult to implement and our goal is to reduce complexity
One of the main objections to HCI was its limited scale. Today’s Hyperconverged Architecture allows scaling into the hundreds of nodes with no diminishment of performance. In some instances, purpose-built nodes are available for more CPU or storage intensive applications.
HCI doesn’t have the scale to address Enterprise
Typically, all this functionality, speed, redundancy, compression, came at a price of complexity and administrative head-scratching. Today’s HCI implementation and provisioning is done with a few clicks. Management is crazy intuitive, and the learning curve is reduced to practical non-existence.
It may be well worth your while to take a second, more comprehensive look at where the hyperconverged infrastructure platform has evolved to today. For more information on hyperconverged infrastructure, or to speak with one of our engineers, please contact us or give us a call at 888.861.8884.
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