The only fascinating thing in the world of technology is its sheer rapid advancement and disruptive nature, which keeps transforming the enterprise IT landscape. While some of these technology advancements have lived up to their hype, others quietly faded away.
The latest entrant to join the bandwagon is HYPERCONVERGENCE or Convergence 3.0, to be more precise. As we all know, Datacenter Infrastructure is going through rapid change - the continuous pressure of doing more with less, business-focused IT outcomes, and new delivery and consumption models that are fueling a new wave of convergence.
The first wave of convergence - Convergence 2.0 (VCE's Vblock, NetApp's FlexPod, etc.) - gained significant traction and is now pushed to another level by the launch of "hyper-converged" systems by new vendors such as Nutanix and Simplivity, and products like VMWARE EVO:Rail, and VSPEX Blue.
Converged Infrastructure (CI) brought the four core building blocks of a datacenter - compute, storage, networking, and server virtualization - into a single chassis. Hyper Converged Systems (HCS) further tightened the integration between more components through software.
While hyper converged-based systems promise to be viable options towards building more agile and modular IT infrastructure, enterprises still need to carefully evaluate the selection of workloads in order to reap the capital and operational benefits of hyperconvergence.
Applications like VDI, ROBO, and non-production workloads are perfect fitments for HCS as there are certain inherent benefits that HCS offers; for example: in case of VDI, where storage cost and bandwidth has been a challenge in the traditional storage and server set-up, HCS lets you scale easily without significant expense.
Similarly, in the case of ROBO, applications benefit from advanced data services like de-dupe, compression and replication, robust backup and disaster recovery for remote sites and WAN optimization which aids in maximizing WAN efficiency. Test and Dev teams have an advantage in HCS due to the need for faster application development and delivery.
My final take, though, is that hyperconverged systems still constitute a nascent market segment but is certainly gaining significant mind share and adoption. HCS genuinely offers a good use case from TCO and agility perspectives, for certain workloads.
As they say, too many choices spoil the decision; an enterprise must have a robust framework for evaluating HCS vendors and for identifying those workloads that could benefit from HCS.
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