The data centre, like so much else driven by technology, is evolving. A ‘traditional’ data centre is a large group of networked computer servers that are typically used by organisations for the remote storage, processing or distribution of large amounts of data.
Maintaining dynamic and current data in a traditional infrastructure can be a pain point for those with IT responsibility but with hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), it doesn’t have to be. HCI is developing the way that compute, storage, virtualisation, networking and management are delivered to help organisations cut operational and capital costs, increase IT and business agility and improve application performance. By centralising resources and management, HCI lowers costs, reduces complexity, and alleviates staff burdens while raising performance.
Converged and hyperconverged systems both aim to simplify data centre management. Converged infrastructure has the same components, but they’re discrete, separable, and cumbersome to manage compared with HCI. An example of this might be consolidating telephone, video and data transmission.
Hyperconverged infrastructure fully integrates all components and is software defined. For example, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) without a local IT team can use HCI thanks to the single-supplier approach which removes the need to deal with multiple hardware types; HCI is also built for remote management.
A hyper-converged platform has four integrated software components:
- Storage virtualisation
Advanced management, including automation
HCI delivers deeper separation and higher automation and scalability than converged infrastructure. HCI makes administration more straightforward by providing a single point of management and integrating with an entire data centre, removing the need for separate servers and network storage and delivering on-demand infrastructure for data-centric workloads.
With HCI, on-premise solutions can be deployed at lower cost by building a private cloud with more control and better security. Or an as-a-service option can be chosen from the largest HCI cloud ecosystem for faster speed of deployment and less time spent managing infrastructure. A third option is to achieve a true hybrid cloud: manage a mix of VM- and container-based applications deployed across a mix of data centre, public cloud and edge environments with hybrid cloud.
Hyper-convergence brings cloudlike simplicity on-premises and within a single, easily managed platform.