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What Is Hyperconverged Infrastructure?

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) combines compute, virtualization, storage, and networking in a single cluster. Starting with as few as three nodes, users can easily scale out to match computing and storage resource needs. Hyperconvergence brings cloudlike simplicity on-premises and within a single, easily managed platform.

What challenges will hyperconvergence solve?

Digital transformation is key to business success, and with it the need to support big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and the hybrid cloud while also meeting the fast-growing demands of traditional workloads. Current IT infrastructure weighs data centers down with sluggish arrays of hard-to-manage components, preventing them from keeping up with the quick-turnaround demands of business and the cloud.

By centralizing resources and management, HCI lowers costs, reduces complexity, and alleviates staff burdens while raising performance.

Converged versus hyperconverged: What’s the difference?

Converged and hyperconverged systems both aim to simplify data center management. Converged infrastructure has the same components, but they’re discrete, separable, and cumbersome to manage compared with HCI. Hyperconverged infrastructure fully integrates all components and is software defined.

In essence, HCI is designed to work as one system with software-managed storage, as opposed to converged solutions and their separate components.

What is the hyperconvergence advantage?

HCI delivers deeper abstraction and higher automation and scalability than converged infrastructure. HCI simplifies administration by providing a single point of management. HCI  fully integrates with your entire data center, eliminating the need for separate servers and network storage and delivering on-demand infrastructure for data-centric workloads.

How can I benefit from hyperconverged infrastructure?

IT is continually tasked to do more with fewer resources. In addition to taking care of existing IT infrastructure, it must drive new initiatives such as AI, machine learning (ML), and big data.  For large and small organizations, hyperconvergence’s centralized management, scalable architecture, and cloudlike simplicity deliver multiple benefits.

Benefits of hyperconverged infrastructure

Lower costs

Integrating components into one platform reduces storage footprint, power use, maintenance costs, and TCO. Hyperconverged systems eliminate the need to overprovision to accommodate growth and help enable data centers to scale in small, easily managed steps.


Simplicity and agility

Hyperconverged systems can deploy in a fraction of the time of traditional IT infrastructure. And there’s no need for IT specialists for each resource area. Plus, automation makes management simple, giving staff and administrators more time to focus on strategic initiatives.


Performance

Hyperconvergence helps organizations deploy any workload and enjoy high levels of performance. Many organizations use hyperconverged solutions for the most intensive workloads, including enterprise apps and SQL Server.


Flexible scaling

Hyperconverged infrastructure scales easily. Additional resources can be added by simply connecting a new node to the cluster. Plus, with some hyperconverged systems you can scale compute and storage separately. New resources are automatically identified and integrated into the cluster.


Multicloud support

Hyperconvergence dramatically simplifies hybrid cloud environments and reduces the time and cost of transitioning to a hybrid cloud. It also makes it easy to move data and applications back and forth between on-premises servers and the public cloud.


Security and data protection

On-premises IT infrastructure is more secure than other options. Security is baked into hyperconverged systems, with features including self-encrypting drives and tools that provide high levels of visibility. Backup and disaster recovery are also built in.

What should I look for in a hyperconverged solution?

To tackle your toughest challenges, you need a solution that delivers:

Support and performance for any application. The right HCI solution must support a wide set of application deployment models. To run your mission-critical apps, it needs to be fast and consistent, which demands low latency and low IOPS variability.

Integration with any cloud. As multicloud environments become more common, your solution must provide the flexibility to support multiple hypervisors and deploy applications in whichever cloud environment is most appropriate for them.

Scalability. The right solution will support your IT needs today and adapt as those needs evolve, providing the simplicity and flexibility to handle any workload and use case.

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