In order for a business to finally enhance its earnings, it will need to invest in technology, software, and various internal resources. Organizations are increasingly looking for solutions that can cut costs, speed up production, and promote worker effectiveness. As a result, modern IT systems for business are almost necessary. They make it possible to automate repetitive processes, enhance logistics and production, forecast work results, and produce the required reports.
Increased attention is now being paid to hyper converged infrastructure. Hyperconverged infrastructure makes it easy to support virtual desktop infrastructure and desktop virtualization because it’s designed with ease of installation and complex tasks in mind.
If you are a business owner and don’t know if it is worth investing in HCI, then let’s look at the most crucial questions to ask before investing.
What is HCI?
No matter how trite it may sound, first of all, you must understand what hyper-converged infrastructure is and whether this solution is necessary for your business. So let’s take a quick look at what it is.
HCI is called an infrastructure in which computing power, storage, servers, and networks are arranged into a single space using software solutions. Special software is responsible for the function of the HC structure. It unifies a group of servers into a single, simple-to-manage system that can be controlled from a console. To scale the system, it is enough to add the required number of new modules.
HCI is excellent for rapid deployment and even rapid repurposing thanks to its speed and flexibility. Numerous users are working from home because of COVID-19. Due to that, companies have been compelled to swiftly install more equipment and resources to meet the digital requirements of remote workers. HCI has a key role in this quick system change.
What is the principle of operation of HCI?
An HCI consists of four elements:
- network virtualization;
- virtual storage;
- virtualization of computing resources;
- a management interface with automation tools.
Hyperconverged infrastructure is built on software. Therefore, this IT architecture is extremely flexible and scalable. All elements of the infrastructure are much easier to manage due to the presence of a clear and easy-to-use interface.
If necessary, you can form arrays of independent disks, which is the key to fault tolerance and ease of scalability.
Does your business need HCI?
The software used to build a hyper-converged infrastructure eliminates the need for virtual storage. Instead, the local hard drives of the servers themselves are used. Software tools work according to the basic principles of modern storage systems — fault tolerance, combining independent disks into arrays, and others. In addition, they provide even distribution to the available internal drives.
Hyperconvergence enhances the efficiency of server virtualization greatly. It becomes more flexible in terms of scaling, easy to manage, and fault-tolerant. This is the best solution for medium and large businesses, as well as small companies that want to save rack space and are willing to pay for the required number of software licenses.
Which HCI solution is better: hardware or software?
Many see the transition to an HCI architecture primarily as a purchase of new hardware. Obviously, choosing a hardware HCI solution greatly simplifies the task of deploying new infrastructure. This choice will be optimal if you need to quickly implement a new technological solution.
However, the choice of HCI as a software solution gives the customer an additional bonus — high flexibility. It doesn’t bind the customer to the choice of a specific vendor and makes it easy to switch to products from other vendors without thinking about the risks of loss of control. However, self-deployment of a software HCI infrastructure will, of course, be more time-consuming than a hardware solution.
What are the benefits of HCI?
Hyperconverged infrastructure has numerous benefits. It helps streamline a disparate IT environment and get rid of the need to manage multiple systems, which brings both organizational order and financial efficiency. In addition, capital and operating expenses are reduced. When we are talking about a classic infrastructure, a staff of specialists is needed, each of which is an expert in their field, while one group of administrators can manage HCI and all its components.
In summarizing, we can highlight several advantages of HCI — flexibility, simplicity, and ease of administration. If you overcome skepticism and study how HCI works, then its use increases the competitiveness of your business and allows it to quickly change and meet the needs of the market.
Does HCI have drawbacks?
Like everything in the world, HCI has some drawbacks. For instance, HCI requires broad specialists. They must be well versed in the operation of all elements of the HCI, as well as competently solve tasks related to load balancing, control of the communication system, troubleshooting network infrastructure and storage systems, etc. It is much more difficult to find such specialists with a wide profile of competencies. In addition, the cost of the initial investment is high, but it should pay off in the long run.
Thus, before implementing HCI, each business owner must decide whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages specifically for his company and whether it would be advisable to invest in a hyper-converged infrastructure at this stage.
Hyperconverged systems show strong growth in the market of infrastructure solutions. They are gradually replacing traditional solutions — more economical, simpler, and more convenient to operate. The flexibility of a hyper-converged infrastructure makes it more scalable and cost-effective because it provides the ability to add computing and storage devices as needed. The ability to outsource the design and integration of the main components of the data center to the manufacturer of the hyper-converged solution allows you to use your own engineers in other areas of IT or even reduce the staff. Economy and functionality are critical roles of innovative technologies. If your finances allow you to outsource HCI, then you should definitely invest in it.