Hyperconverged Infrastructure: What is it?

Hyperconverged infrastructure

An overview of HCI

So, what exactly is Hyperconverged Infrastructure? Hyperconverged Infrastructure, or HCI,  is the simplifying and breaking of traditional silos to streamline workload management.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure is a transformational approach that combines simplicity and scale-out by eliminating dedicated storage nodes while also providing data resiliency via distributed storage software. Traditionally, networking stacks were built with three separate layers in mind: storage, computing and networking with the layers acting as separate entities and requiring different user interfaces. HCI takes traditional elements of a hardware defined system, then virtualizing them to make more of a dynamic and agile method of infrastructure. 

With hyperconverged systems, businesses can simplify and aggregate compute and storage resources, reducing complexities while increasing revenue. HCI is built upon two main pieces, distributed storage management and compute resource management. The distributed storage manager is responsible for identifying where in the infrastructure files should be stored as well as guaranteeing proper data redundancy. The compute manager is responsible for deploying VMs across the physical compute nodes based on available resources and file needs, allowing VMs to be located as close to their files as possible.

The details of Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Differences between CI and HCI 

While Converged Infrastructure and Hyperconverged Infrastructure may sound similar, they are in fact two separate concepts. Both CI and HCI offer virtualization and simply put, the main difference between the two is that HCI is software defined and CI is hardware based. While similar, the two technologies have distinct attributes and components such as handling of rack systems, and the two entities are not interchangeable. 

The benefits of HCI

In a hyperconverged infrastructure environment, the network is a vital element. Legacy and proprietary networking solutions limit flexibility, scalability and performance. If a network doesn’t function correctly, VMs can experience slowdowns to simply not being available. What Hyperconverged Infrastructure brings is a more scalable, agile, and personalized experience to the infrastructure.

5 takeaways of HCI

  • HCI is a software defined solution 
  • Hyperconverged Infrastructure integrates storage, computing and networking into a single system (pod) in order to reduce data center complexity and ease deployment challenges as compared to traditional data center architectures
  • HCI is attractive to organizations due to its scalability, opportunities for cost reduction, as well as enhanced security throughout the system
  • Hyperconverged infrastructure is allowing companies to have a competitive edge in the world of open networking through integrated storage and computing 
  • HCI and CI are two different technologies. HCI is software defined while CI technology is based in hardware