Hyper-Converged Infrastructure 101: What You Need to Know
Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is disrupting the traditional storage and data center markets because it creates enormous value through simplified management, consolidated resources, and reduced costs. Additionally, HCI provides the ideal platform to build a private cloud. According to Gartner, “The market for hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS) will grow 79 percent to reach almost $2 billion in 2016, propelling it toward mainstream use in the next five years. HCIS will be the fastest-growing segment of the overall market for integrated systems, reaching almost $5 billion, which is 24 percent of the market, by 2019.”1
What Is HCI?
Hyper-converged infrastructure is a software-based architecture—supported by a single vendor—which tightly integrates virtualization, compute, storage, and networking resources on commodity hardware. According to IDC, HCI delivers a 652 percent reduction in storage-related capital expenditures and a 50 percent reduction in total cost of ownership.
Changes in Storage
Removing complexity and cost from the data center delivers value, and a primary driver for adopting those hyper-converged infrastructure benefits is a changing storage market.
In the past, enterprise storage was expensive, proprietary, and difficult to configure and support. HCI is changing that. This transformation in storage began with the leadership of enormous data center operators, like Amazon Web Services and Alibaba, who built their own massive storage infrastructures by scaling on x86 servers. Other companies are now following their example and taking advantage of the agility, scalability, and cost savings afforded by HCI.
Flash Prices Dropping
Hard disk drives, the last mechanical component on a computer, are moving toward obsolescence as the price of flash media drops. Flash is a superior technology in every way, but its high price has slowed adoption. No longer. Even customers with limited IT budgets now need to justify buying hard disk storage instead of all-flash solutions, rather than the other way around. All-flash HCI solutions accelerate the move to flash storage with off-the-shelf pricing and rapid support of the latest flash technologies.
Hyper-converged infrastructure automates management tasks and collapses an enormous amount of complexity into a single technology in order to deliver superior performance. To learn how HCI can automate your business, watch this video.
1Gartner, “Gartner Says Hyperconverged Integrated Systems Will Be Mainstream in Five Years,” May 2016, http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3308017
2IDC White Paper, sponsored by VMware, “Reviewing the Current State of Hyper Convergence and Real-World Benefits of VMware Virtual SAN Deployments,” July 2016