In any IT organization, an ultimate goal is simplicity. So it's not surprising that hyper-converged infrastructure -- which, at its core, combines networking, storage and compute into a single package -- has a wide appeal among IT pros.
Although it's tempting to hop on the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) bandwagon, investigate all of your options before adopting an HCI system. There are many benefits of hyper-converged infrastructure, but there are drawbacks too, and the technology isn't a good fit for every workload. In some cases, converged infrastructure (CI) is a better option -- it all depends on your needs. Use this guide to weigh the pros and cons of hyper-converged infrastructure, and to learn best practices for adoption.
If you do decide to take the next step with hyper-converged infrastructure, it's crucial to implement it correctly. Understand how to properly manage the system to take full advantage of its benefits. After fully exploring the ins and outs of hyper-converged infrastructure, you may be able to deliver greater value to your organization.
1HCI pros and cons-
Understand the benefits, limitations of hyper-converged infrastructure
One of hyper-converged infrastructure's most heavily-touted benefits, simplicity, extends to different aspects of IT. For example, hyper-convergence can simplify staffing and IT organization, as well as VDI planning and storage. Explore the specific benefits of hyper-converged infrastructure, but also be aware of its shortcomings. Recognize when it makes sense to implement the technology, and when it will create more problems than solutions.
All IT organizations strive for simplicity. Hyper-converged infrastructure achieves that goal by breaking down silos, supporting private and hybrid clouds and using policy-based virtualization management. Continue Reading
Hyper-converged infrastructure provides admins with a single management display, making it easier to interpret data about IT infrastructure from a single location. But according to some experts, reaping the benefits of hyper-converged infrastructure goes deeper than management. Continue Reading
Hyper-converged infrastructure systems and a series of blade servers both simplify IT management through more condensed compute. But hyper-converged infrastructure can take those benefits even further, pooling storage and other resources together and using a software-defined model to increase automation and configuration options. Continue Reading
Hyper-converged infrastructure isn't right for every workload. For example, be careful when you implement HCI for some cloud and online transaction processing applications. VDI and ROBO projects, on the other hand, work well with hyper-converged technologies. Continue Reading
2Compare CI and HCI-
The difference between hyper-converged infrastructure and converged infrastructure
Both converged and hyper-converged systems condense compute, storage and networking into a single chassis and break down data center silos -- so how do they differ? There are key architectural differences between the two technologies. For example, one of the benefits of hyper-converged infrastructure is that it allows users to add nodes of compute and storage as needed, increasing flexibility. But CI still has its strengths, and likely won't disappear from the data center anytime soon.
CI and HCI have different strengths in enterprise data centers. Converged infrastructure is a good option to support remote data center projects, for example, hyper-converged infrastructure can be useful for workloads such as VDI, as well as app testing and development labs. Continue Reading
Although converged infrastructure adoption is on the decline, some organizations still choose this infrastructure model over hyper-converged infrastructure because of its stable and agile environment. Learn why CI will continue to have a place in enterprise data centers. Continue Reading
A defining characteristic of hyper-converged infrastructure is a node-based architecture that provides increased scalability, and replaces the storage network and array with clustered storage. Navigate these, and other architectural differences, associated with hyper-converged infrastructure vs. CI. Continue Reading
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3Sidestep HCI issues-
Overcome hyper-converged infrastructure implementation, management challenges
Though one of the end goals of hyper-converged infrastructure is simplicity, implementation of a new system can be anything but simple. Find ways to ease the process, which includes choosing the right hardware and carefully replacing legacy systems. Once you've implemented the technology, ensure you manage it correctly to reap the benefits of hyper-converged infrastructure -- which can include capitalizing on certain components that pave the way toward software-defined data centers (SDDCs).
When it comes to hyper-converged infrastructure implementation, don't be hasty. Ensure that you have the right amount and type of switch ports, among other considerations. Continue Reading
When you buy hyper-converged infrastructure, you still have to consider the underlying hardware. Explore common hyper-converged infrastructure appliance options, and how some of those options can fall short. Continue Reading
Hyper-converged infrastructure's scalability can especially pay off when you use it to support big data and distributed systems. Explore solid options for hyper-converged infrastructure, ranging from NoSQL databases to analytic platforms like MapReduce and Apache Spark. Continue Reading
Be fully prepared for hyper-converged systems to secure their benefits. For example, create, apply and standardize the right policies to efficiently manage VMs, disaster recovery and more. Continue Reading
Hyper-converged terms to know
Before you make a decision about hyper-convergence, it's important to understand the terminology.