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The Need for Hyperconverged Infrastructure in Today's Business Environment

By CIOReview | Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The growing scale of operations and complexity always inspire IT leaders to explore new means of optimizing hardware infrastructure and software. In today’s budget constrained business environments, virtualization emerges as the best option for organizations to scale up their operations and improve process efficiency. The potent concept not only underpins internal applications but also supports IT infrastructure that includes data centers and on-premise devices. To scale up the operations, businesses follow different options such as converged and hyperconverged infrastructure.

Scaling isn’t Simple

Primarily, scaling the operations and capabilities with the power of virtualization might sound simple. To maintain the independence of storage and network functionalities, converged infrastructure is the apt choice. Converged infrastructure also liberates businesses from the need of having dedicated storage area network (SAN)-based storage. However, the technology has numerous limitations that restrain businesses from scaling up. Converged infrastructure impels companies to operate within constraints of pre-defined ratios of storage and network.

The software defined approach called hyperconverged infrastructure does not retain storage and network infrastructure in a siloed form. Being the next step to converged infrastructure, hyperconverged infrastructure offers a gamut of advantages that range from data efficiency to Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) improvements. Hyperconverged infrastructure also offers typical benefits of converged infrastructure like a single shared resource pool. Integration of the building blocks of the IT infrastructure, which is inclusive of data centers, simplifies and expedites deployment of additional network and storage whereas converged infrastructure is devoid of data management functionality.

Hyperconverged infrastructure trumps other infrastructure virtualization variants on many counts. As hyperconverged infrastructure is an instance of the software-defined data center (SDDC), flexibility and agility are primary benefits. Virtualization, the technological backbone of SDDC leverages virtual machines (VMs), which are supported by storage, backup, replication, and load balancing.

Lower cost of ownership and reduced data center expenditure provide relief to the cost-conscious businesses. The software defined infrastructure resembles cloud and offers businesses a better performance, high availability of resources and data integrity, which are crucial factors in the business success. System administrators can control compute, storage, recovery through a single shared resource pool and manage integrated resources. The essence of hyperconverged infrastructure can be found in the fact that it permits the managers to administer the physical devices spread across several location from a single central system. The system administrators can easily gain integrated view of physical and logical infrastructure from a single interface, their next move is towards automating rule based processes. IT department can easily define scheduling of operational tasks through programming and infuse scalability.

As hyperconverged infrastructure can be built on various kinds of storage types, it allows assignment of different types of storage memory for the same device. Subsequently, the support from different storage types facilitates processing of random and sequential workloads. Enterprises can share resources in real time with ease due to SDDC, the core principle of hyperconverged infrastructure. The environment manages CPU, RAM, capacity, and IOPS assignments and liberates administrators to concentrate on the application.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure and Data Protection

Be it on-premise legacy system or converged infrastructure, data security is primary concern for all enterprises. Backup and recovery are integral to hyperconverged infrastructure and thus emerges as a trustworthy option in the long run.

Factors like scalability, support for different storage types, lower cost of ownership contribute towards making a hyperconverged infrastructure, a winning proposition in today’s fast paced business environment. Enterprises should explore ways to harness power of hyperconverged infrastructure and exercise measures such as upgradation of datacenters, deployment of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), and extensive testing. This will be the real beginning of the journey towards optimized IT infrastructure management.