Converged vs. Hyperconverged Infrastructure—and How You Benefit

What is Hyperconverged Infrastructure?

Unity is strength, division is weakness. It’s an old Swahili proverb, and iterations of it can be found in the speeches of many great leaders throughout the years. However, when it comes to IT infrastructure, many companies keep it separated between platforms. While it’s true that this approach may work for some organizations, converged or hyperconverged IT allows companies to merge compute, networking, and storage components into one unified platform, creating greater strength—just as the proverb says.

 

Converged vs. Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Converged Infrastructure (CI) solutions were developed to simplify the deployment of compute, network, and storage resources. Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) has the same goal, but takes a different approach. CI is a “single-box system,” in which server appliances are received in one compact set of hardware, so internal IT teams will only need to seek out a single vendor for end-to-end support. With HCI, infrastructure is provided by one vendor via software, acting as a single dashboard where internal teams can manage and deploy the entire IT framework. Similar yet different, CI and HCI can save organizations time on deployment, enjoy reduced costs of deployment, and can simplify overall management through the unification of data center controls. (For technical specifications on both, software news source SDx Central provides some valuable details here).

 

Rapid Deployment and Reduced Risk

As a “single-box system,” converged infrastructures come complete with all the components needed to operate an infrastructure. Because they’re pre-configured by certified experts prior to shipping, companies can be assured they’re getting an authentic and functional solution. Even entry-level IT staff can deploy within minutes, instead of days. Along with streamlined deployment, CI and HCI also help reduce the risks and unexpected costs that can arise during deployment; specialized experts don’t need to be on hand to figure out the best way to add a customized piece of hardware to existing infrastructure.

 

Reduced Costs

IT infrastructure that is located on-premise can cost companies a small fortune. Additionally, operating expenses are increased because companies need to manage the equipment with differing vendors. It also requires more physical storage space, more network resources, and possibly more staffing to ensure there is a specialist on-hand, with knowledge of each platform. With CI and HCI, however, servers, virtualization software, networking, and storage are bundled together, using fewer resources while achieving greater output. When scaling or bringing new services to market in a hurry, costs are also lowered by reducing the hours spent on repetitive installation tasks, and system testing across platforms. An International Data Corporation (IDC) study revealed that companies switching to hyperconvergence experienced a 33% increase in budget, which allowed them to spend more on new technology projects and purchases.

 

Increased Efficiency

Customers surveyed in that same IDC study revealed that their IT operations saw a significant increase in efficiency following the implementation of converged infrastructure. “We're finding this [infrastructure] just runs, and because there's so much less complexity, so much less inventory and assets to manage, it gives us the ability to go work on other things that we had not had the time to in the past,” one IT administrator explained. Furthermore, organizations that implemented hyperconverged infrastructure witnessed an 81% increase in time spent on new projects and innovation. Rather than spending time and resources maintaining individual IT platforms, teams can focus on modernizing applications, and creating better tools for users. “It allows you to rethink how you allocate your resources,” says Eric Sheppard, IDC’s Research Director of Enterprise Storage and Converged Systems.

 

Improved Visibility

Without proper monitoring and alerting, any IT deployment can devolve into chaos. Using multiple platforms can add to the mess, making it difficult for IT leaders and their staff to gain a holistic view of their organization’s activities. When something does go wrong, it often results in finger pointing, in which siloed IT teams blame each other—or their various platforms—rather than trying to get to the root of the problem. When using a singular on-premise CI or HCI, however, there is never any question who to call for support; problems become easier to fix and teams begin to work together to find solutions.  

 

Migrating to the Cloud and Colocation Opportunities

Organizations interested in the benefits of CI or HCI may want to eliminate their physical infrastructure entirely and rely on a cloud provider. A cloud provider can virtualize servers and assets while merging your platforms, allowing clients to still reap the rewards of a converged infrastructure. Organizations that prefer to keep their workloads on their own servers, but not on-premise, or would like the increased security an off-site data center can provide, may also choose colocation.


If you’re interested in merging your infrastructure and moving to the cloud, or in colocation opportunities, DSM can help. Our experts will make sure the move is seamless, and will be on-hand 24/7/365 to offer support. Just as CI and HCI simplify operations and reduce costs, DSM also offers level billing to further reduce client’ costs. With level billing, you pay the same amount each month based on your contract; no more guessing what the bill will be when capacity changes. To learn more about DSM and the solutions we provide, contact us today.

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