Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is a software-defined, unified system that combines all the elements of a traditional data center: storage, compute, networking, and management. This integrated solution uses software and x86 servers to replace expensive, purpose-built hardware. With hyperconverged infrastructure, you’ll decrease data center complexity and increase scalability.
Traditional three-tier architecture is expensive to build, complex to operate, and difficult to scale. Don't wait on the IT infrastructure that can support your modern application demands. Adopt HCI without losing control, increasing costs, or compromising security.
Four tightly integrated software components make up a hyperconverged platform:
The virtualization software abstracts and pools underlying resources, then dynamically allocates them to applications running in VMs or containers. Configuration is based on policies aligned with the applications, eliminating the need for complicated constructs like LUNs and volumes.
HCI transforms the traditional IT operational model with simple, unified management of resources. This results in:
Eliminate manual processes and the need for siloed operational expertise on your team. Now, a single, converged IT team can monitor and manage resources and improve storage capabilities. Plus, with HCI, IT resources are presented as pools of storage that can be dynamically allocated to deliver the right amount of capacity, performance, and protection.
Reduce your CAPEX by using a scale-up/scale-out architecture that requires only industry-standard x86 servers, not expensive, purpose-built networking. Then simply add capacity as needed with no disruptions. With HCI, you avoid vendor lock-in and eliminate overprovisioning, meaning greatly reduced infrastructure spending across your data center.
Be more responsive to rapidly changing business needs. Set up hardware in a few hours; spin up workloads in minutes. Accelerate the performance of business-critical applications like relational databases. HCI scales better than traditional infrastructure. It enables a future-proof IT environment that allows you to scale up and scale out to easily meet specific application needs.
Hear more about the key benefits of HCI compared to more traditional architectures. VMware’s Lee Caswell and IDC’s Eric Burgener discuss how to enable ease of management, deployment, scaling, and more.
Eliminating traditional IT silos and managing everything from a single tool means lower OPEX and CAPEX for your IT infrastructure. And with HCI, you don’t have to sacrifice security, flexibility or scalability. But some solutions make capitalizing on HCI efficiency easier than others. Learn why VMware has the most HCI customers in production worldwide in this infographic.
The components of hyperconverged infrastructure can be implemented separately and one at a time, depending on existing architecture and your IT needs. To deliver on its potential, an HCI solution shouldn’t be tied to a specific hardware platform. VMware HCI allows you the freedom to choose your preferred platform, fully integrate with your existing infrastructure, and protect and optimize existing investments.
Data center scaling and evolving can be a costly, complicated process. Luckily, a key benefit of HCI is its ability to scale and change as needed. VMware HCI in particular is designed for simplicity and scalability for rapidly changing business needs. Only VMware has the complete set of offerings for a fully software-defined data center in production today.
Hyperconverged and converged IT infrastructures both integrate the four components of a data center: storage, compute, networking and management. While hyperconverged systems accomplish this through software, making it hardware-agnostic, converged solutions rely on hardware. A converged infrastructure data center uses many of the same products as traditional IT, just with a simplified architecture and easier management.
Companies are using hyperconverged infrastructure to run most types of business-critical, or tier-one, applications thanks to its high availability. Other common workloads that run on hyperconverged systems include database software like Oracle, virtual desktop infrastructure, collaboration applications, analytics, remote management, and testing environments.
VMware HCI allows you to integrate your existing storage within the hyperconverged infrastructure solution. vSAN is VMware’s software-defined storage solution for hyperconverged infrastructure. vSAN is natively integrated with VMware vSphere, which manages compute resources, including storage. This means you can access and use traditional datastores along with hyperconverged storage—all in the same cluster.
For more information, read the Solution Overview.
A hyperconverged infrastructure appliance combines all the data center components—storage, compute, networking and management—within a single, pre-configured hardware box. Deploying HCI with an appliance reduces operational costs and simplifies set-up and maintenance. You don’t have to worry about building the architecture or configuring and managing the underlying infrastructure. Dell EMC VxRail is a turnkey HCI appliance jointly engineered by VMware and Dell.
Common uses of hyperconverged infrastructure include:
Gain a complete L2–L7 networking and security and virtualization platform with NSX Data Center.
Get a modern platform for infrastructure automation, consistent operations, and governance with vRealize Suite, the leading cloud system management software.
Seamlessly evolve to a modern data center with VMware, the #1 choice for hyperconverged infrastructure. VMware vSAN is the only vSphere-native storage software for private and public cloud deployments. Ensure a consistent operating experience plus all-flash performance and unlock a key building block of a complete digital foundation.
See why VMware is once again positioned as a Leader in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure.
HCI is well suited to a wide range of use cases, from business‐critical applications (BCAs) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to disaster recovery and more. See how VMware-powered HCI delivers simplicity, cost savings and scalability for our customers.
“We’re using vSAN for hyperconverged infrastructure because of its reliability; it’s stable and lives depend on it. VMware systems are designed to just keep running…it’s an unstoppable system.”
– Tom Lynott, Director of Software Architecture
“Overall, we’re extremely satisfied with the performance, high availability, manageability and scalability of our new hyper- converged infrastructure, thanks to the Fujitsu Integrated System PRIMEFLEX for VMware vSAN.”
- Karsten Ehrlich, Division Leader of IT, Harro Höfliger
“Without VMware, I don't think that we would have the up time or the reliability to be able to perform what we do at 40,000 feet on a global scale and do what we do best, save patient lives.”
- Paul Green, CIO, Angel MedFlight
Ready to get started on the simplest path toward hyperconverged infrastructure and hybrid cloud? Start by evaluating the readiness of your current environment for HCI with a free, online assessment.
Check out the infographic to see why more organizations are making the switch to address today’s IT challenges.
Learn more about the only vSphere-native, flash-optimized storage for private and public cloud deployments.
Understand what HCI is all about, how you can get started, and where you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck in this Dummies guide.