Is now the time to switch to hyper-convergence?

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With all the buzz about hyper-converged infrastructure, are you beginning to wonder if it’s time to make the switch? If you are an IT manager, you’ve heard the pitch for hyper-convergence and how it is supposed to tightly couple compute, storage, networking and virtualization into a single server. They even say it is cheaper, faster and easier to use, and enables “cloud-like” economics and scale without compromising your data center’s reliability, performance and availability. So are you ready?

Starting the Decision Process

To determine whether it is time for a switch, you must take a good look at your own situation. Traditionally, most data centers include a wide variety of solutions from different manufactures. You will often find SAN, networking hardware, servers and a hypervisor – all from different vendors. Since each product has its own unique characteristics, it takes a lot of hard work to integrate their functionalities so that they perform properly. That’s how most data centers have functioned. Essentially, they just evolved and became a burden for the business to scale and keep up-to-date.
But there is a better way.
With hyper-convergence, you start with a pre-engineered system, usually from a single manufacturer, that combines everything into just one management system that includes compute power, storage and networking. So when you just have a single vendor to deal with, everything automatically becomes easier!

How Does It Work?

With hyper-convergence, you start with x86 hardware and then easily and quickly scale the virtualization by simply adding inexpensive modular components. You no longer have to worry about how to expand a SAN or how to add more ports to the network. IT managers just have to make a quick call to the manufacturer to order the parts they need. This quick solution allows them to spend the rest of their time creating a solid application platform and monitoring the system.
According to Gartner, you should have 80 to 120 servers, 30 to 50 terabytes of storage, and 80 to 90 percent virtualization to justify the implementation of hyper-convergence.

Significant Benefits of Hyper-Convergence

  • Elasticity: It is easy to scale out/scale in resources to meet business demands.
  • Virtual Machine-centricity: The focus is on the VM as the cornerstone of enterprise IT, with all supporting constructs revolving around individual VMs.
  • Data protection: Data can easily be restored in the event of loss or corruption.
  • VM Mobility: Greater application/workload mobility is enabled.
  • High availability: Higher levels of availability are offered than in legacy systems.
  • Data efficiency: Storage, bandwidth and IOPS requirements are reduced.
  • Cost efficiency: HCI brings to IT a sustainable step-based economic model that eliminates waste.

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Lighten Your Management Burden

Deploying your own virtualized infrastructure and hiring four teams (storage, server, hypervisor and network) is no longer necessary with HCI. Instead, you could just have one small team that manages the entire network. This allows you to save money on headcount and shift your focus to building better and more reliable IT applications.

In full disclosure, IT managers may pay more for the extra software layer provided by hyper-convergence manufacturers. But offsetting this is the money saved because the products are based on inexpensive equipment. The beauty of hyper-convergence is that businesses will in the end spend less on hardware, software and people — and have a better more efficient solution in the long run.

Contact Arrow Today!

If you do decide that your business is ready for the switch to hyper-convergence, contact your Arrow representative today. And when you do, get ready to reap rewards like consolidation and modernization of your data center, pay-as-you-grow scalability, lightened management burdens and much much more!

Last modified: September 26, 2019