A hyper-converged infrastructure is a software-related approach that combines storage, computation, network and virtualization technologies as one physical unit. This architecture allows in managing complicated technologies as a single unit. In short it is a sum up of all the data centre services. In the typical legacy environments, there have to be separate administrative and management groups for each section. In hyper-convergence, you don’t need separate teams to manage storage, virtualization and network functionalities. Instead, these are brought together as modules. So in hyper-converged infrastructure, all technologies can be combined together just as a single server and scalability can be enhanced by adding more “nodes” that will fetch more computation, storage and network resources. More the added nodes more will be the output derived.
Hyper-convergence is expanded out of the concept of converged infrastructure. Under converged architecture, a predefined bundle of hardware and software is maintained with the goal of minimizing compatibility issues. Here the technologies can be separated and used independently. Traditional IT firms were relying on experts in networking, storage, systems administration, and software. But there has been a paradigm shift after the evolution of virtualization technology. The limitations of converged infrastructure like storage performance, capacity, speed and scalability were swept apart by the hyper-converged infrastructure.
Hyper-convergence can be defined as an infrastructure wrapped in a box. It delivers a number of benefits as it combines all the components into a box. The ‘wrapped in a box’ feature makes it faster and easier to deploy with minimal use of power, cable and space requirements. In contrast to traditional data centers, hyper-converged infrastructure is centrally managed and maintained and all these features make it a cost effective option. With hyper-convergence, compatability issues are less likely to occur as various components have already been tested, integrated and configured by the vendor. It manages to handle complex workloads and the much needed granular configuration changes can be made at the software level.
There is no doubt that there are significant benefits in deploying hyper-converged infrastructures. Procurement gets simplified; scaling becomes more straightforward, apart from the fact that support and maintenance become easier. The data centre also becomes a less complicated place, as physical routers, switches, SANs, storage arrays, and perhaps tape libraries, may all get replaced by banks of x86 servers. These are still emerging technologies, however, and are yet to be tested in the most demanding of environments where converged infrastructure and traditional architecture continue to excel. Data center consolidation is the most significant factor in hyper-converged infrastructure. The easy-to-manage package allows integrating all entities within a single interface. With the emergence of this architecture, it has become possible for businesses to deploy resources more quickly, completing tasks in minutes, which otherwise would have taken days to get finished.
As technology will continue to play a critical role in delivering successful programs for public sector organizations, it is clear that the hyper-converged network will become the key for achieving this goal. By choosing hyper-converged infrastructure, data center managers and administrators can eliminate the rigidity related to the server, storage, and network switching silos, plus the operational headaches that accompany them…