Why hyper-converged infrastructure is the future of the data centre

Replacing your ageing infrastructure with a hyper-converged one can save you time and money.

Ageing IT infrastructure has a habit of becoming increasingly more expensive to manage and scale, adding complexity at every turn. Nothing highlights this as much as with a traditional virtualised environment. With this type of infrastructure, your servers, virtual hosts, networking and SAN are all kept separate. If you need absolute control over each component, then this kind of infrastructure can work, but there are several issues.

Most importantly, management becomes very hard, as you have multiple management consoles for each part of your infrastructure. As each component is likely to be provided by a different manufacturer, dealing with hardware and warranty issues can be exceptionally complex. Future upgrades can require old hardware to be completely replaced, and choosing the right SAN array to match your business needs can be incredibly difficult.

The hyper-convergence way

Fortunately, there's another way with hypercovergence, which will prove itself to be the future of many data centres. In simple terms, hyper-convergence uses appliances that combine the compute, storage and networking components into an appliance (node), built by one manufacturer. The benefits can be huge for all types of company.

For starters, hyper-convergence is far simpler to manage. Rather than having a collection of management consoles, you have a single console that manages all aspects of your virtualised environment. Add in the simplified physical infrastructure (each hyper-converged appliance is largely plug-and-play), and your company benefits from a reduced management burden, letting you cut costs and help the IT team focus on business tasks. hyperonvergence is often a lot cheaper to implement than traditional infrastructure, with convergence bringing down cost.

It's a question of scale

Scale is one of the most important considerations when implementing any data centre infrastructure. For a business to grow, IT needs to be able to match pace.

Hyperconvergence allows scale in two ways. First, in-chassis upgrades, such as adding storage, allow each node to grow. Secondly, you can expand by adding additional nodes into your environment. It's important that you examine any hyper-converged infrastructure to see the minimum and maximum number of nodes supported so that you can buy the right equipment to meet your business objectives today and in the future.

Performance from hyperconverged appliances is usually greater, with the tight cohesion between integrated components providing real and lasting benefits. Disaster recovery, meanwhile, is easier to control and manage, with hyperconverged environments benefiting from integrated data protection and backup, with the ability to replicate and fail over to alternative nodes in the event of a major issue.

Ultimately, the greater simplicity and scaling options that hyperconvergence offers mean that it's the best choices for businesses that need to align their IT requirements with their business goals.

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