Why Hyper-convergence Matters for Businesses of All Sizes
IT managers never want technology solutions that are more complex than they need to be. At the same time, we also want technology solutions that are easy to scale. Of course, complexity gets in the way of scalability.
The trend towards hyperconvergence solves both issues: complexity and scalability. For many workloads, a hyperconverged approach can make life much easier and save costs at the same time. Read on to find out what exactly hyperconvergence is and how can it benefit your technology environment.
Taking convergence to the next level
Hyperconvergence is essentially converged infrastructure, but operating at another level altogether. As a reminder, converged infrastructure is a modular and repeatable way of deploying integrated computing, storage, and networking resources in a data centre. It’s standardised and provides greater performance.
Convergence takes a first step to integrating the distinct elements of a data centre, but hyperconvergence goes much further by taking a software-defined approach to hardware and technology resources. Hyperconvergence depends on virtualisation, software-defined storage as well as virtual networks to create flexible, agile data centres.
Though both convergence and hyperconvergence focus on integration and standardisation you could say that hyperconvergence relies on a higher degree of abstraction while also automating configuration and maintenance more than convergence does.
What’s the role of hyperconvergence in business IT?
All sorts of workloads can benefit from hyperconverged infrastructure as it delivers greater flexibility, improved performance, and cost savings. Whether it’s Oracle or SQL database servers, analytics, or a web-face workload, hyperconvergence can deliver big benefits for data-intensive operations.
There are several clear use cases for hyperconvergence, however. Also, as hyperconvergence becomes more commonplace, expect the number of use cases to expand and to trickle down to smaller-scale operations. For now, we’re seeing hyperconvergence deployed in the following scenarios:
- Improving testing, deployment. With hyperconvergence it is much easier to create a logically separate testing environment without the need for tech teams to create a full shadow of the technology environment. It boosts the speed at which development takes place and makes it easier to deploy new solutions.
- Data centre consolidation. Just as containerisation and virtualisation enable more efficient use of servers, so hyperconvergence enables much more efficient use of data centre technology. It eliminates the need for SANs, for example, replacing several components with a single hyperconvergence appliance that takes on many more roles.
- Computing at the edge. There are numerous advantages to moving data centre functions closer to endpoints such as IoT devices or in-store terminals. Edge computing gets a solid boost from hyperconvergence because of its plug-and-play nature
- Consolidated backup and disaster recovery. With hyperconvergence, data in a datacentre is addressed in a completely different way. Often, backup and disaster recovery are built straight into the hyperconvergence platform, but irrespective of the backup tool used, hyperconvergence still delivers much-needed simplicity which makes business resilience easier to achieve.
- Management tools. Hyperconverged infrastructure is much easier to manage, requiring less physical intervention. Data centres operating on hyperconverged technology can be managed remotely much more so than standard, converged datacentre solutions.
Clearly, hyperconvergence drives several use cases. Understanding which properties of hyperconvergence deliver the benefits that underpin hyperconvergence use cases can help businesses see how hyperconvergence can boost their unique workloads.
Benefits of hyperconvergence for business IT
By design, hyperconvergence focuses on the right parts of the technology solution – driving the workload, rather than driving infrastructure provisioning per se. And, as with much of today’s cutting-edge tech, hyperconvergence splits solutions into flexible components that easily connect and scale effortlessly. Benefits include:
- Storage is fully software-defined. Using storage nodes, hyperconverged infrastructure delivers incredible flexibility across storage requirements - even if a specific node fails, the remaining nodes will not be affected. It significantly boosts resilience.
- Scalability thanks to nodes. Hyperconvergence’s use of nodes also means that workloads can easily be scaled – it’s simply a matter of adding the nodes you need to meet demand. You can also remove nodes when demand drops. Companies can thus bring services into the market much faster, and quickly cut costs when demand recedes.
- Built-in data efficiency and protection. By moving beyond just the delivery of resources, hyperconvergence offers companies built-in efficiency by reducing data duplication and by compressing data. Because infrastructure is highly unified, backup and protection features are much easier to implement.
- Turnkey capabilities. Because hyperconvergence infrastructure is so integrated, companies can rely on rapid roll-outs. Hyperconvergence is a one-stop-shop for virtualisation, storage and networking in a single package – with minimal configuration requirements.
- Seamless management capabilities. In practice, hyperconvergence stitches together previously disparate components so well that integrated management becomes a very real possibility. The abstracted, virtual nature of hyperconverged infrastructure also makes it much easier to manage over and across physical infrastructure, for maximum efficiency.
Technology often moves in small but determined steps. Hyperconvergence is a typical example: it’s converged infrastructure, but delivers much more of the same. Better integration, flexibility and scalability.
Hyperconvergence ties into a more connected world. Cloud solutions are, after all, connected solutions. Companies that run significant infrastructure operations should consider stepping up from converged infrastructure to hyperconverged infrastructure.