7 Ways to Apply Hyperconvergence
Hyperconvergence can provide substantially faster return on investment for new workloads than traditional infrastructure as well as offer a way for businesses to slowly begin consolidating islands of IT infrastructure and modernizing their applications over time. It’s somewhat rare in IT to see a paradigm shift that is this dramatic yet doesn’t require a rip-and-replace implementation. Hyperconvergence is easy to use alongside you existing data center equipment, and whether you’re deploying a VDI project where you need to be able to easily scale by a certain number of users or you’re looking to simplify your management of branch offices, hyperconvergence can help things move along more smoothly. Here are the top seven ways that hyperconverged infrastructure can be of value to your organization:
Managing remote sites with hyperconvergence is easier for most organizations.
- Server Consolidation. Taking on a data center consolidation project without hyperconvergence as a platform can be a bit daunting because it’s tricky to plan for. Failure to plan accurately on a project like this can have some pretty nasty outcomes. Hyperconvergence as a model makes sizing easy and migrating new workloads to your new hyperconverged platform is a cinch.
- Supporting Tier 1 Apps. Rather than bulking up on your exiting data center resources to support new Tier 1 applications (“Tier 1” meaning that they’re business-critical and require the highest performance possible), consider deploying on hyperconverged infrastructure. Not only will you reap the operational benefits of the hyperconverged model, but you’ll also be able to easily scale up the infrastructure as your critical applications require.
- Remote Office / Branch Office (ROBO). Thanks to the ground-up rethinking of how infrastructure is managed that spawned hyperconvergence, managing infrastructure at remote sites is made much easier. Traditionally, managing infrastructure resources like storage systems at remote sites was cumbersome. When a technology like storage requires a specialist to come onsite, managing more than a handful of remote sites can quickly get out of hand. Hyperconverged systems are simple to manage, even from a storage perspective, and IT generalists can do it remotely. Non-technical staff is often sufficient for “boots on the ground” tasks at a remote site with hyperconverged infrastructure. This staffing implication means that managing remote sites with hyperconvergence is easier for most organizations.
- Test / Dev Workloads. When organizations run multiple segregated infrastructures for the purpose of creating and testing code prior to deploying in production, managing all the different environments can be tricky. It’s also common to have infrastructure differences between the environments which can cause code to behave or perform differently when moving from one infrastructure to another. Hyperconverged systems often have QoS-type constructs that allow running these multiple different environments in logically separate environments but on a single infrastructure without worrying about them impacting each other. This produces more reliable development and testing and eliminates the need to manage more than one infrastructure.
- Simplifying Backup and DR. Because hyperconvergence addresses the data center in a fundamentally different way, backup and DR can be addressed differently as well. First of all, by eliminating much of the complexity that inundated legacy data centers, backup and DR automatically becomes easier because it’s simpler. Also, when a hyperconvergence manufacturer has access to the entire infrastructure stack, data protection mechanisms like backup and replication can be baked in to the platform. As opposed to yet another interface to manage from, a hyperconverged solution can offer you simple yet robust DR options natively.
- Edge Computing. Edge computing moves typical data center functions like compute and storage out of the data center and closer to endpoints like point-of-sale systems and IoT devices. Since these aren’t complete infrastructures, edge scenarios typically won’t have dedicated IT staff (similar to ROBO). That means they need to be simple to set up and manage with minimal resources, but still responsive and able to communicate with other data centers, both on-premises and in the cloud. Since HCI has these key features, it’s a strong natural fit here; its plug-and-play nature eliminates many of the configuration and networking hassles that would be a nightmare on the edge.
- Enabling the Enterprise Cloud. Hybrid clouds are the norm today, and for good reason: the ability to keep data that needs to reside locally for security or compliance reasons in your own data center, combined with the ability to move some workloads to the public cloud for benefits like elasticity and backup/disaster recovery, is hard to beat. Adopting a multi-cloud approach to select best-of-breed cloud services for specific jobs is also increasingly common. The downside is increased complexity, which is where HCI comes in. It can simplify your hybrid cloud environment dramatically and reduce the time and expense necessary to transition to hybrid cloud. Moving VMs back and forth between on-premises servers and the public cloud, for instance, becomes much easier and more efficient; that’s a big part of the transition.