The process of formation of hyperconverged systems began at the end of the 20th century but reached a certain “maturity” only 4-5 years ago. It was during this period that large market players joined the startups developing such platforms.
HCI is often synonymous with high automation and scalability, especially when compared to a converged infrastructure. This is due to the fact that HCI is fully integrated by the data center and, in fact, is a single point of control. That is, the use of separate servers and network storage is not required.
What Is Hyper-converged Infrastructure
Hyper-converged infrastructure is called an infrastructure in which computing power, storage, servers, and networks are arranged into a single space using software tools. In other words, it is a unified system that combines computer networking and storage into one simple way to manage virtualized systems.
Special software is responsible for the operation of the structure. It turns a complex of servers into one system that is easy to manage through a common console. To scale the system, it is enough to add the required number of new modules.
To give you a quick idea, these systems are made up of two main components – hypervisors and storage controllers. Moreover, hyperconverged systems are typically available as fully integrated hardware and standalone software.
How HCI Works
The software used to build a hyper-converged infrastructure, does 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 – combining independent disks into arrays and fault tolerance.
In addition, they provide even distribution to the available internal drives. For example, if there are three servers combined into a hyper-converged infrastructure. Then there will also be three mirrored copies of the data.
Hyperconvergence greatly enhances the efficiency of server virtualization: it becomes more flexible in terms of scaling, easy to manage, and fault tolerant. This is the best solution for medium and large businesses. Also, for the small companies that want to save rack space and are willing to pay for the required number of software licenses.
What Is The Main Goal Of HCI?
The main goal of HCI is to simplify the process of managing data centers by restructuring them as transport systems for software processes and transactions, instead of having a network of processors with storage and memory caches connected to them.
The convergence that HCI provides in data centers is as follows:
Applications and the servers that host them are managed together using a single platform focused on the performance of those applications.
Handling workloads, storage capacity, memory usage, and network connectivity.
Each workload is packaged in the same design class: typically virtual machines (VMs) are designed to be hosted on hypervisors such as Xen, KVM, and Microsoft Hyper-V, Nutanix HCI. These mocks help HCI platforms validate them as important and equal software components with different operational requirements.
What Are The Main Benefits Of Hyperconvergence Infrastructure?
Among the main advantages of hyper-converged infrastructure or HCI, the following points should be highlighted:
Using such a platform allows you to reduce indicators such as CAPEX and OPEX. In addition, the cost of maintaining infrastructure is generally reduced. By integrating all components into one platform, memory consumption is reduced, energy costs are reduced, and maintenance costs are reduced.
Simple work with data
The platform allows you to reduce the company’s storage and network costs and at the same time provides quick access to all the necessary data.
Safety of use
The advantage of the solution is that the data is not tied to a single place in terms of vulnerabilities. Due to this, a high level of security and information security is maintained. In addition, the system has built-in tools for setting up backup and disaster recovery of data.
The platform uses a “natural” block reservation feature, which ensures instant reconfiguration. System deployment is as fast as possible compared to conventional IT infrastructure.
The platform has no restrictions on the types of scaling and does not impose any restrictions on users. This is extremely useful for rapidly growing companies that need more and more resources and does not want to spend a lot of money and time scaling their IT infrastructure. To solve each deployment and scaling task, the help of a system administrator is not required, that is, the process of managing a hyper-converged system is as easy and simple as possible. And it’s almost always possible to scale computing and storage separately.
The technology simplifies the use of hybrid cloud technologies and also reduces the costs of the organization when moving from one solution to another. Provides fast and easy transfer of data and programs between servers and the cloud.
Almost all hyper-converged platforms contain separate flash drives. Since they are inside the physical server, they provide minimal latency when accessing data. Due to this, the performance of the system is increased. Such a platform will help the company to use any workload and at the same time provide a high level of productivity. Most organizations prefer HCI for resource-intensive business processes.
HCI can be called a truly unique technology. It combines rapid deployment, flexibility, easy software support, and even storage controller functionality. All this allows you to create a fast and efficient data center with minimal costs of money, time, and resources.
By using this infrastructure, IT professionals are not required to perform various repetitive tasks to keep the system up and running. As a result, redundancy is significantly reduced.
What Are The Main Contentions Among HCI Vendors?
The question is whether a converged infrastructure should truly include the existing data center storage array or completely replace it.
With a distributed storage fabric (DSF) approach, one of the virtual machines running on each of its HCI nodes is a controller virtual machine dedicated to storage management.
Together, they manage a virtualized storage pool that uses hard drives with flash storage arrays. Within this pool, HCI vendors such as Nutanix implement their own system of redundancy and reliability checks that eliminates the need for conventional RAID.
As a result, the following conclusion can be drawn: hyper-converged infrastructure is easy to administer and manage, reduces the total cost of ownership and speed of deployment, as well as simplifies planning for subsequent costs associated with system upgrades. But it should be borne in mind that a selective upgrade of individual parts of the system is actually unavailable.