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Hyperconverged Infrastructure – 5 things you need to know

- Wednesday, April 27, 2016

In the world of technology, things move fast and for people working in the technology sector this rate of change has only increased over the last few years. For someone whose focus is working with clients to help them innovate their businesses I find myself often viewing or being presented with new and emerging technologies that are presented as something that will have a big effect, or make waves. Recently, I’ve been examining Hyperconverged Infrastructure, as it too is touted as a new and emerging sector that has the potential to change the way we view Data Centre infrastructure. For those of you that have yet to come across Hyperconverged Infrastructure I’ll provide you with a brief summary, and then focus on the 5 key things you need to know about this new technology.

What is Hyperconverged Infrastructure?

Hyperconverged Infrastructure is currently regarded as “the next big thing” in Data centre Infrastructure, offering the dream of dramatically simplified Virtual Infrastructure delivered via scale out architecture, along the lines of the technology used by the pioneers of the massive data centres like Google and Amazon.
Hyperconverged Infrastructure turns traditional large virtualised Infrastructure on its head by consolidating both compute and storage into a single node, (a traditional x86 server). It simplifies the legacy stack by negating the need for shared storage (i.e. a SAN or NAS) and then natively replicating data across the nodes. This enables the Data Centre to continue to have VMWare HA without the need for SAN/NAS fibre channel fabric etc. and all the complexity that this involves.
One of the biggest benefits of Hyperconverged Infrastructure is that the technology enables full DR by simply deploying addition nodes in another location. Hyperconverged Infrastructure also has the potential to massively lower operational expense and potentially lower capital expense, especially when being deployed in a distributed, multi-site environment.

5 things you need to know about Hyperconverged Infrastructure

1. Hyperconverged Infrastructure can simplify management of infrastructure

One of the great advantages of Hyperconverged Infrastructure is that it simplifies some of the key areas of difficulty with traditional Infrastructure. It offers simplified management and simplified expansion of your infrastructure which ultimately can reduce your reliance on specialist skills and help drive a reduction in operational expense. Management is also simplified as many Hyperconverged Infrastructure solutions are provided in a single box, by a single vendor. No more mismatch of technology between compute, switch and storage!

2. Hyperconverged Infrastructure can provide a performance boost

Hyperconverged Infrastructure has the ability to provide your data centre with significant performance increases through the technology inherent in the solution. Perhaps the most significant is the reduction of IOPs via compression and dedupe and also that SSDs are mandatory in the solution.

3. Hyperconverged Infrastructure has the ability to Scale

Hyperconverged Infrastructure has the key ability to easily scale out to meet the growing demands of an organisation. Extra compute and storage can be added by simply adding an extra node to the environment.

4. Hyperconverged Infrastructure doesn’t always solve Backup 

An area that hasn’t been fully explored is how Hyperconverged Infrastructure deals with the granular recovery of data and long term retention of backups. As these needs can be very dependant the organisation’s requirements, the technology may need other backup mechanisms to ensure compliance.

5. Hyperconverged Infrastructure does cost

As with all technology, there is a cost to the solutions, and Hyperconverged Infrastructure can seem a little pricey compared with a traditional solution, however, the cost benefit kicks in when you need to expand your nodes over multiple sites and for multiple purposes. If you have a requirement for incorporating disaster recovery or business continuity into your site, a Hyperconverged Infrastructure solution becomes a far more cost effective option.

For further details on how your organisation can benefit from Hyperconverged Infrastructure, get in touch with Martin or the staff at Trident today. We’ll be more than happy to discuss this technology and how it could drive performance and cost reduction for you.

  Martin Corden

Technology Innovator
Trident Computer Services


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