The Basics of Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Corporate technology keeps changing from time to time as new models emerge to meet the ever-evolving needs of businesses. This article will focus on hyper-converged infrastructure, which is the conglomeration and culmination of some trends, all which offer specific value to the modern enterprise.

What is hyper-convergence?

It is a technology that combines all data center functions into an appliance that’s easy to manage, scale out and deploy. It amalgamates networking, computing and storage functions into one resource pool, which subsequently increases the efficiency and performance of infrastructure while allowing you to efficiently manage and deploy your data center without needing high levels of expertise.

At its most basic, hyperconvergence, also known as hiperconvergencia, minimizes the incompatibility issues as well as complexities often tied to traditional data centers. Coming from converged infrastructures where computing, networking, and storage functions are blended, a hyper-converged infrastructure adds software control and is often called a software-defined data center. So, rather than providing server functions through hardware like in the traditional systems, it delivers it through software.

At the highest level, hyper-convergence is a way to enable cloud-based scale and economics without compromising the reliability, performance, and availability you expect in your data center. It delivers significant benefits to organizations and vendors alike:

Elasticity – makes it easy to scale resources up or down as per the business needs

Data efficiency – minimizes bandwidth, storage and IOPS requirements

Data protection – ensures the preservation of information in the event of corruption or loss, which is a critical aspect in IT

Virtual machine (VM)-centricity – a focus on the VM or workload as the basis of the company’s IT, with all supporting constructs focusing on individual VMs

Cost efficiency – offers a sustainable step-based economic model that negates waste

High availability – allows high availability levels than possible in traditional data centers

VM mobility – enables greater workload/application mobility

How hyper-convergence differs from traditional IT systems

As stated earlier, hyper-convergence infrastructure is the software-defined data center. It virtualizes all aspects of a traditional IT system, allowing delivery of networking and storage functions online instead of using the physical hardware. The most basic hyper-converged infrastructure consists of networking and virtualization services, a distribution place to deliver storage, and a management plane for easy resource administration.

Additionally, an organization would need to buy and manually configure every hardware product from different vendors to scale in a traditional arrangement. Not to mention the incompatibility issues and the amount of time that goes into the process. Hyper-convergence, on the other hand, is easy and quick to scale since software configures the additional resources automatically. It also has rare cases of incompatibility issues because the vendors often pre-test and verify the hardware before developing the appliance.

The hyper-convergence system solves a range of traditional data center challenges, including:

  • Inefficient usage of resources
  • Dependence on expensive proprietary hardware
  • Incompatibility, scaling and performance issues
  • Complex scaling and deployment processes
  • Dealing with different third-parties service providers and vendors
  • Inability to quickly adjust to evolving business needs
  • Hardship in incorporating and handling heterogeneous infrastructures