Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Hyperconvergence Trends in 2018

The just-finished year was a big one for the hyperconvergence industry. In 2017, hyperconvergence gained a much greater foothold not only in data centers, but also in awareness by the IT industry in general. And even though some businesses are very slow to adopt changes to infrastructure, at least those admins, managers and executives know that hyperconvergence is the coming thing, and they’re exploring its possibilities.

As 2017 slowly recedes in the rearview mirror, it’s a good time to take a look at what we can expect in the coming year on the hyperconvergence front. In short, it’s looking like an exciting year with a lot of forward momentum. Here’s what you can look forward to.

Fast Adoption

Perhaps the biggest trend this year will be the rapid adoption of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) implementations. There’s plenty of data to back that up.

For instance, a report from Network World states that HCI is the “largest segment of software-defined storage.” Software-defined storage (SDS) is the type of fast storage used in HCI. SDS, the article says, “… boasts a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.6% and revenues that are forecast to hit $7.15 billion in 2021, according to research firm IDC.”

Eric Burgener, research director for storage at IDC, was quoted as saying that “HCI is the fastest growing market of all the multi-billion-dollar storage segments.”

Spiceworks’ 2018 “State of IT” report finds similar good news, with a near doubling of companies stating that they’ll be using hyperconvergence within the next year. Currently, according to Spiceworks’ data, 23% of companies currently use hyperconvergence, while a near-identical amount — 22% — plan on moving to HCI by year’s end. That is very significant.

State Government Usage

One group warming quickly to the benefits of HCI is state government. According to a story on the StateTech website, HCI is poised to be very disruptive. “Hyperconvergence combines computer, storage, network and virtualization onto a single platform from a single vendor, which cuts back on the complexities of a multivendor environment, offering local governments less expensive, easier to manage and more scalable IT infrastructures,” the story states.

It’s already happening, in fact, and is already “transforming local governments on a smaller scale.”  Alan Shark, executive director and CEO of the Public Technology Institute, understands why: “Now, suddenly, your mainframe can sit there in a fraction of the space and perform faster, better, with mirror backups built in,” he says. “This will be a game changer because, ultimately, it requires less energy, less hardware, takes up less space and is far more efficient.”

Healthcare Uptake

The healthcare industry is another field that’s discovering the joys of HCI and causing its popularity to bloom. The website HIT Infrastructure reports that admins understand that HCI will “consolidate IT systems,” ultimately leading to dramatic cost savings.

“Hyper-convergence makes it easier for IT administrators to manage their key resources using virtual machines. HCI is also scalable and uses less physical resources to cut back on costs,” the story says, adding that “The more solutions organizations add to their health IT infrastructure, the more entities will be looking to downsize physical hardware without compromising functionality.”

Moving to the Edge

Edge computing is getting a lot of attention, and is poised to break through in 2018. In Edge computing, the compute and storage devices are placed closer to the end points, to reduce the latency inherent in cloud environments. An example might be a self-driving car, which can’t wait for data to be uploaded and downloaded to the cloud to make the nearly instantaneous decisions necessary. Thus, an edge device might be located in a busy city intersection, doing the real-time work there instead of in the cloud.

Hyperconvergence makers are starting to develop systems for these kinds of scenarios, offering the advantages of integrated hardware, software and management matched to the needs of the emerging Edge computing field.