Many organizations today look at Hyperconverged solutions and/or HCI Infrastructure from a hardware solution standpoint for their various hardware renewal cycles. The revolution of hyper-converged infrastructure was certainly driven by software-dependent technologies because computers, networks, and storage can be isolated from the underlying hardware layer. Furthermore, the cost of hardware has become significantly cheaper. Moreover, HCI solutions allow the deployment of HCI solutions using more commodity hardware solutions.
What does hyper convergence mean?
Like any new technology, there is some discrepancy over the concept of hyper convergence. This is defined by Gartner as a platform enabling shared computing and storage resources based on software-defined storage, a computing software, commodity hardware, and a uniform management interface.
Forrester believes real hyperconverged solutions have four critical features: built-in computation and storage, software-defined storage, automatic discovery and configuration, and little management outside the console.
Most hyper convergence definitions agree on a few crucial aspects. First, these are commodity systems with calculation and storage capabilities. Second, hyperconverged systems incorporate a software-defined infrastructure component and, thirdly, simplify administration.
Image Source: Pixabay
Why are you going to Hyperconverged?
The most prevalent argument for employing a hyperconverged infrastructure, such as OpenStack HCI, is the saving in costs and space generated by less hardware and fewer servers. This theory is complemented by the premise that “just place some storage on computers” should not make any difference in complexity or speed. After all, hard discs are slow and don’t demand many energy, right? Moreover, our cloud doesn’t perform 100% anyway, so we do some of these free resources for us.
Hyperconverged Solutions pros:
Simplifying service deployment is one of the main advantages of HCI technologies. With one, virtualized networks, IT administrators don’t have to worry about assuring interoperability between products because they will use a single vendor to deal with all the required tools. The time and energy needed to obtain, integrate and implement traditional infrastructure are avoided when components are preconfigured.
Everything is completely linked in a hyperconverged solutions, therefore scaling up means simply adding another node to the preceding one. This approach offers the possibility to store greater capacity without the worry of hardware or setup problems. It’s basically that simple; the more nodes you have, the more storage you can build. This storage boost not only provides seamless scalability, but it can also be achieved without changing administration needs.
Because hyperconverged systems are built on commodity technology, they should be less expensive in theory than standard servers and storage arrays. Furthermore, simpler administrative capabilities and the minimal hardware footprint should help to reduce overall ownership costs. However, in fact, clients should be attentive to their homework because several customers reported that the promised savings did not materialize.
The performance of HCI frameworks is much easier to monitor and track. HCI products frequently have considerable software in place for analytics. This helps firms to keep an eye on workloads and locate resources and performance drags more readily.
Such surveillance is typically available from a single dashboard. This facility of reporting and analysis is essential for a busy company. Decision-makers generally manage remote teams, use numerous platforms, and spread slimly otherwise. Anything that saves time and increases efficiency is a gift.
Once systems are implemented, it is also much easier to maintain them up and running successfully. Monitoring and improving HCI deploys is easy compared to traditional methods. Automated software takes most of the day-to-day management out of IT professionals’ hands. Furthermore, when modifications are necessary, administrators can use a single administration platform remotely to perform fundamental tasks such as backups using simple point-and-click operations.
Data efficiency and storage are beneficial. Snapshotting, data deduplication, and other data protection capabilities are generally incorporated as standard, simplifying disaster recovery operations. The HCI software-defined nature also allows enterprises to leverage public cloud storage as a backup target.
Adverse effects of hyper-converged solutions:
HCI makes sense to a lesser extent:
HCI’s cost savings are useful for smaller applications. It may be better to separate calculation and stock sub-services for large deployments – tens of computer servers and tens of terabytes of storage – because they can be sub-optimized independently in order to unlock the cost savings, simplify deployment or make them better fit to a given situation/limiting factors.
Together with the simplified collapsed design, less flexibility and limited expansion in scaling nodes are achieved. Each device has a maximum capacity for calculation, memory, and storage resources – if one of these is within the node, there is no expansion option but to add a different node.
It appears that hyperconverged solutions would reduce an issue with the vendor’s lock-in, which is based on commodity hardware. However, in fact, it is quite difficult to transfer to another supplier without pulling and replacing the old hardware after you start deploying hyperconverged infrastructure from one vendor. The software that operates and administers these systems is tightly interwoven with the hardware, making it difficult for various vendors to mix and match systems.
Out-of-the-box Solutions for HCI are a black box:
This means greater seller lock-in and a lack of transparency in the box. This is not a problem for primary HCI use but may become a limiting factor for large-scale or more advanced IT users, who need to manage which building blocks are used.
Is it worth Hyperconverged?
That doesn’t mean an HCI environment is never suitable. For example, some circumstances where you would like to take hyper converged infrastructure solutions seriously are those where:
Space limits are imposed, particularly in satellite sites.
Given your precise requirements, HCI is actually less expensive and you can live with the disadvantages of scalability and flexibility.
You need only a very modest storage cluster and the number of storage nodes required to establish a reliable Ceph HCI cluster will increase the cost dramatically and will far surpass the required storage capacity.