Doing more with less. We could leave it at that when describing hyperconvergence and how it’s charming IT managers and shrinking data centers worldwide. We thought we’d go a step further with some FAQs.
Here’s what you need to know about hyperconvergence:
What is it?
Simply put, a hyperconverged system is a shrunken data center. If deployed correctly, it rivals traditional physical computing in terms of scalability, elasticity and operational efficiency. This is done through server and storage hardware nodes that are built into scale-out clusters. The ultimate goal is to adopt the technology without sacrificing reliability, performance and workload availability across the enterprise.
What kind of traction does it have in the market?
According to Network World, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is now the largest segment of software-defined storage. HCI is also rapidly growing at a 26.6% five-year CAGR and revenues are projected to hit $7.15 billion by 2021. Needless to say, it’s not a passing trend.
Is it only for SMBs?
Not necessarily. Organizations that store thousands of terabytes should consider hyperconvergence for long-term, net savings. A lower TCO could be a reality for larger enterprises, but the upfront cost may price smaller organizations out of the water. (Even smaller-scale systems can start at $200,000, which makes the cloud look much more attractive to SMBs.) Hyperconvergence could ultimately land in the “high-end infrastructure” category.
What is the #1 reason for adoption?
Follow the dollars. Although scalability, clusters and all-in-one boxes are great conversation pieces in IT, hyperconvergence really exists to save organizations money. Only when IT makes a business case for lowering capital expenditure (CapEx), along with total cost of ownership (TCO), does it become a viable option. By shrinking the power-drawing components of a data center—networking, storage and compute—IT can very well be on a path to substantial savings. Hyperconvergence takes all three and puts them into a singular box.
Does it have an impact on licensing structures?
Absolutely. Let’s say your organization is running a server, switch and SAN—each manufactured by a different vendor. That’s three different licensing and renewal structures, which often means more headaches for IT. A hyperconverged, all-in-one environment (e.g., Lenovo’s Converged HX Series) eliminates that issue as it enables easy deployment and manageability in scale-out clusters.
What does the future of hyperconvergence look like?
Since this technology is far from mature, our Ingram Micro data center pros can only give you their best guest at its future. But they’re usually pretty close. Their aggregate projections for hyperconverged systems look something like this:
- More scale-out configuration options
- Augmented speed and agility
- Fewer single-vendor dependencies
- Integrated management capabilities
- Diversity in tools, networking, storage and hypervisors
- More virtualization options
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