Converged storage offers a robust framework that combines server, storage, and execution resources into a single assembly. Typically, this results in lower maintenance costs, a smaller data center footprint, and greater efficiency and productivity for IT teams.
HCI solutions can be hardware appliances, software-only solutions, or reference architectures.
Hyperconvergence storage has emerged as a game-changer in the data storage landscape, offering a powerful blend of simplicity, scalability, and performance. Hyper-converged infrastructure unites storage, computing, and networking in a single framework. As a result, it offers several key benefits for your business.
One of the most significant benefits is that it streamlines your data center. It eliminates the need to manage different hardware from multiple vendors. Instead, it is centralized under a unified interface that is easy to use and manage.
Additionally, it helps reduce maintenance costs. It eliminates the need for separate storage, computing, and networking servers. It also enables you to scale the system quickly by adding new nodes. This is especially beneficial for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), as it prevents you from overprovisioning your system, resulting in lower cost structures and improved performance.
Another benefit of this solution is its ability to increase performance based on demand. This is important as it means that you can scale your systems in a non-disruptive way. However, it is essential to note that scalability varies depending on the vendor. Some big HCI industry players practice rigid hardware compatibility lists, restricting scalability options and causing high unnecessary costs. In contrast, open-source solutions enable granular scaling through software tools. These allow you to get more capacity by adding a node rather than purchasing a whole new appliance or implementing an expensive software upgrade.
As the hardware components of hyperconvergence are virtualized and distributed across a clustered server, scalability is critical. Unlike converged infrastructure that requires separate boxes for each storage, networking, and computing component, HCI pools them together in one integrated unit managed from a single interface. It removes physical barriers that limit a box’s computing resources and provides greater flexibility for IT to manage hardware.
For IT teams that operate in silos, scalability is a critical aspect of enabling new services and reducing downtime. The ability to scale in granular increments is essential for keeping pace with user demands and ensuring IT can deliver on its promises. Hyperconvergence solutions enable rapid storage provisioning and can be ramped up and down with the workload. It allows IT to keep its promise of “no more downtime” and enables companies to pay only for what they use.
While HCI is an excellent solution for many workloads, it’s essential to understand that not all hyperconverged solutions are created equal. Some have hardware optimized for a specific type of application and achieve exceptional performance, but this comes at a cost.
Other vendors offer hardware-agnostic software-defined solutions that work with any server manufacturer.
Unlike traditional hardware-defined infrastructure, hyper-converged platforms use readily available commodity servers, including at least a virtualized hypervisor, software-defined storage, and management. They are designed to eliminate the need for a separate storage area network (SAN) while providing the same functionality as other data center staging models. This is accomplished through a single-pane-of-glass management web UI that controls the components within the platform.
Combining storage and computing in a unified system simplifies operations and delivers a more reliable solution for your clients. The converged architecture also helps reduce costs and improve IT performance. Compared to regular storage, HCI can achieve higher performance on lower-cost hardware and provide better scalability and reliability.
Another advantage of hyperconverged storage is that it can be scaled non-disruptively by adding more nodes. This is especially beneficial for VDI deployments where scalability is a priority. Expanding a SAN-based configuration without disrupting applications can be challenging, but with HCI, it’s easy to increase storage capacity by adding more nodes.
As the demand for managed services grows, MSPS must offer a scalable and efficient solution. Hyperconverged storage is a game-changer in the industry, offering many benefits that can help you provide clients with a more streamlined solution.
Unlike traditional data centers that can require multiple systems to manage converged infrastructure, hyper-converged storage offers a single piece of software to manage everything, from the storage system to the virtual machine and application. This approach streamlines storage management and reduces the risk of hardware failures and other issues impacting performance.
Additionally, hyper-converged storage eliminates inefficient storage protocols and file systems by incorporating them directly within the solution. It also enables the hypervisor to leverage the storage for better efficiency, providing a more robust and reliable platform for your clients’ IT environments.
Another advantage of hyperconverged storage is its scalability, ideal for business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plans. By enabling you to offer your clients a more resilient and flexible backup and recovery strategy, hyper-converged storage helps you stay ahead of the curve and increase your MSP’s value proposition to your client base.
Regarding hyper-converged storage, choosing a solution that offers the best value for your business is essential. Look for solutions that include a native hypervisor, hypervisor-embedded storage, and integrated security to maximize efficiency and reduce the cost of operations. In addition, look for a solution that provides high-performance unified storage, redundant data protection, and 24/7 monitoring for increased reliability. Choosing a hyper-converged storage solution that meets these requirements will provide the flexibility and scalability your clients need to grow their businesses.