The role of the data center is changing. From traditional or ‘siloed’ data centers which relied heavily on hardware and physical servers to the modern Software-Defined Data Center, it has evolved from keeping the lights on to become the driving force behind the business.
For many years, data centers were the nervous system of an organization, commanding a large footprint and consuming incredible amounts of energy and cooling resources. They consisted of servers connected to SAN-attached storage, requiring a team of IT personnel and significant CAPEX.
While the data center is still the nervous system of the organization, Hyperconverged infrastructure is its new face.
Simply put, Hyperconverged infrastructure combines the compute, storage, network, and virtualization layers into a unit that can be scaled up and out to build massive pools of resources that can be leveraged for an organization’s application needs. The environment is designed to be free of custom hardware and for software and hardware to be decoupled providing significant cost savings.
Today, companies demand a data center that improves operational efficiency. It needs to foster automation, business agility, and responsiveness while being flexible enough to support changing business needs. Here are five ways how Hyperconverged infrastructure checks all the boxes.
1) Simplify IT deployment
Traditional IT infrastructure deployment is designed with the specialist in mind. Specialists work together with administrators and application owners to agree on the infrastructure needs of the workload being deployed. These may include resiliency levels and capacity among others. However, this process is time-consuming and quite often results in conflict if one of the stakeholders don’t agree on a component. Post deployment, administrators and application owners may not have useful insights into utilization or performance metrics.
Hyperconverged infrastructure begins with simplified deployment and high levels of automation. It is designed to be “up and running” with the fewest possible steps and geared toward the IT generalist or VM administrator. Automation is a critical part of the simplified installation, and many vendors automate as many tasks as possible with their Hyperconverged offerings.
2) Scale for Performance
Organisations running hardware-defined systems typically provision to meet the needs of the most demanding workloads resulting in over provisioning or create silos of systems that are right-sized for a subset of workloads but require many points of management.
Hyperconverged infrastructure, on the other hand, can quickly scale compute and storage resources at a very granular level and with near-zero downtime due to its highly virtualized and scale-out nature. IT teams can now purchase, deploy, manage, upgrade and expand an integrated stack of computing, storage and virtualization, far more quickly than previously possible, thus saving significant time and costs by not over-provisioning. Even the most demanding data centre can benefit from multi-hypervisors and a robust set of enterprise class applications.
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