If you like the benefits of cloud but have difficulty moving some workloads over to the cloud, a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) might be right for your organization.
Like converged infrastructures, an HCI consists of pre-integrated compute, storage and networking resources managed as a single infrastructure. Unlike a converged infrastructure, HCI components are software-defined and implemented virtually, with seamless integration into the hypervisor environment, making them simpler, faster and less costly to deploy, manage and scale.
The question is…is an HCI right for your organization?
Benefits of hyperconverged infrastructures
Some applications simply aren’t right for the cloud. They may be highly customized or latency-sensitive applications or applications with confidential or sensitive data.
A hyperconverged infrastructure can deliver cloud-like benefits—lower total cost of ownership (TCO), increased IT productivity, less reliance on IT specialists and reduced time to response (TTR)—with a tightly integrated “data center in a box” that’s compatible with cloud technologies.
The result? A simplified infrastructure that scales up or down as needed for flexible service delivery at a much lower cost.
Typical hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) use cases
HCIs were commonly used for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and other workloads where scalability and performance are key requirements. Since then, the number of use cases has grown.
A recent NetworkWorld article cited the results of a Forrester survey of infrastructure professionals whose firms are planning, implementing or expanding their use of hyperconverged systems. The most common HCI workloads they cited are:
- Database, such as Oracle or SQL server (50 percent)
- File and print services (40 percent)
- Collaboration, such as Exchange or SharePoint (38 percent)
- Virtual desktop (34 percent)
- Commercial packaged software, such as SAP or Oracle (33 percent)
- Analytics (25 percent)
- Web-facing workloads, such as LAMP stack or web servers (17 percent)
6 reasons to deploy a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI)
The reasons that organizations deploy hyperconverged infrastructures are many, but here are some key reasons:
- Start or further digital transformation projects – If your organization has yet to start on its digital transformation journey—or wants to move further along in its journey—an HCI could be an answer. It offers ample agility so you can better compete beyond margins and budgets.
- Better manage storage requirements – Instead of anticipating storage needs 12-18 months out—and potentially over-provisioning costly storage assets—you can add scale as conditions and budgets allow with a hyperconverged infrastructure.
- Deploy new applications – Major new applications, such as an ERP system, might drive HCI in your organization.
- Perform a technology refresh – If you’re due for a technology refresh, you could deploy hyperconverged infrastructure and move some older workloads onto it instead of refreshing your entire legacy infrastructure.
- Lower costs by moving to a colocation environment – If you want to lower costs within your colocation space, a hyperconverged infrastructure can replace legacy equipment with a smaller setup that frees up space and slashes energy consumption—ideal for lowering space and/or power/cooling costs.
- Achieve redundancy – If your organization has remote offices, a small-scale HCI supporting five to 10 virtual machines (VMs) can help you achieve redundancy. By deploying HCI with two nodes, you can take snapshots of local storage and replicate it back to the home office. From there, you can run backups.
Logicalis: Your hyperconverged infrastructure partner
Whatever your data center plans, Logicalis can help. We’ll start by evaluating your existing data center assets and physical infrastructures. Then we’ll apply service management and ITSM best practices and review the operational readiness of your support teams.
Finally, we’ll perform a financial analysis, so you can compare current spending and see potential savings. We’ll also help you evaluate all your options, including hyperconverged infrastructure options.
For example, NetApp—one of our premier technology partners—allows you to scale compute and storage nodes separately, which can help you better manage your capital and licensing budgets.
Download the white paper to learn more about why hyperconvergence might be the answer to your data center challenges.
Dwight Goble is a Senior Solutions Architect for Logicalis, helping customers understand how private, public and hybrid cloud models and their associated technologies can provide the perfect environment for a variety of enterprise needs.