Next Generation Hyper-Converged IT

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Next Generation Hyper-Converged IT

Learn more about what hyper-converged infrastructures are, how they helping get rid of legacy applications, and how popular they are now.

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Overview of HCI

The growing demands of enterprise applications and the fast pace of modern business puts the legacy design of IT with separate storage, networks and compute at a risk of failure. Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) is a paradigm shift in IT by leveraging principles of virtualization, intended to reduce complexity, enhance scalability and reliability of IT infrastructures. It is possible to move away from legacy IT which is pre-configured, prepackaged and proprietary to an Agile data center with a hyper-converged solution.

HCI solutions involve a consolidated distributed data layer across a cluster of nodes delivering storage, compute and networking services for guest/hosted applications and a management layer provides a single pane of glass to manage all resources involved.

Value Propositions

Integrated System: HCI replaces monolithic systems with consolidated infrastructure. This enables centralized system management through automated software, reducing the complexity of IT and simplifying the network architecture. System capacity can be increased by adding nodes dynamically.

Software Defined: In HCI policies, workload processes aren’t static and specific to underlying hardware components, but are rather specified at abstracted software level of a consolidated infrastructure. Automation capabilities can be leveraged to manage, protect and scale the infrastructure according to dynamic workloads conditions.

Scale-out Infrastructure: The integrated compute, storage and network operate as modular components. Hence HCI distributes controller functionality across the infrastructure nodes as a software service. The software-defined IT configures the entire pool of resources and management can be automated as a software-driven process.

Centralized Management: HCI offers a unified management layer to manage infrastructure operating on top of a distributed data layer. Nodes are operated as individual federated systems; the infrastructure and data management operations are standardized across the aggregated resources and controlled.

HCI Getting Smarter

Hybrid Capabilities: Workloads are increasingly hybrid, exploiting the benefits of cloud’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for better elasticity, agility and total cost of ownership — TCO. Organizations are to evolve their virtualized infrastructure to functional hybrid cloud capabilities across a broad set of parameters, integrate them with wide choices of cloud provider support, and depth of API support.

Containers Support: Hardware vendors are expected to support HCI on rugged server platforms to address edge use-cases. Organizations are expected to lower TCO through the micro-data center that can scale up/down effectively leveraging the support of containers. Artificial Intelligence Operations — AIOps can be deployed with a level of resiliency to address growing business needs and predictive maintenance leveraging APIs.

Network Automation: HCIs are to support enterprise applications that demand highly available and better performance. Networking became a must to be part of cluster design as the number of nodes in the cluster increases to meet SLAs, and hence easier troubleshooting and problem resolution. Network integration if properly done can even be a competitive asset.

Leveraging Analytics: The complexity of workloads increases and mission-critical applications are added. Intelligent workload management to adapt to workload needs and self-healing infrastructure will become critical. Organizations to support on-premise and multi-cloud architecture, opening up a variety of hosting options where AIOps will help optimize the resource holistically.

Business Prospects

HCI solutions are designed to bring the economic and performance advantages to the data center business. Organizations can leverage the software layers to use commodity hardware while reducing concerns over hardware providers. The distributed data layer is controlled from the management layer, a single plane of glass console that brings efficiency of operations, transparency over deployment, controlled scale-out, intelligent workload management, and other key IT operations.

"According to Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, IDC: “Worldwide converged systems market revenue increased 9.1% year over year to $3.6 billion during the fourth quarter of 2017 (4Q17). Full-year sales surpassed $12.5 billion, representing a 9.4% increase over the previous year and the first time the market surpassed $12 billion in a calendar year.

Revenue from a hyperconverged systems sales grew 69.4% year over year. This amounted to 34.3% of the total converged systems market. Full-year sales of hyperconverged systems surpassed $3.7 billion in 2017, up 64.3% from 2016."

Eric Sheppard, the Research VP of Enterprise Servers and Storage, states, “The number of organizations deploying converged systems continued to expand through 2017. This drove the total market value past $12.5b for the year. While not all market segments increased during the year, those that did grow were able to provide considerable benefits related to the most core infrastructure challenges facing today’s data centers.” 

The world of IT in the enterprise has changed hugely over the past few years. There are numerous tools to manage. Applications required keeping business technically functional. The software basis of the infrastructure has led to its significant adoption, providing the flexibility and agility to the modern business demands and needs from IT. Trends suggest that HCI will continue to attract IT spending. Organizations seek the technology solutions as a next logical step toward improvements in converged and software-driven infrastructure environments.

cloud, cloud management, hyperconverged infrastructure, hyperconvergence, infrastructure as a service, platform as a service

Published at DZone with permission of Nageswara Rao . See the original article here.

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