More and more companies are gaining significant returns on investment from converged infrastructure, which takes a “building block” approach to networking, compute and storage systems as well as a centralized approach to management. Gartner predicts that hyper-converged infrastructure—which the analyst firm sees as the third wave in integrated systems--will see a huge upswing in adoption in the next five years.
“The market for hyper-converged integrated systems (HCIS) will grow 79 percent to reach almost $2 billion in 2016, propelling it toward mainstream use in the next five years,” according to analysts at Gartner. “HCIS will be the fastest-growing segment of the overall market for integrated systems, reaching almost $5 billion, which is 24 percent of the market, by 2019.”
There are a number of differences—big and small—between converged architecture and hyper-converged infrastructure.
For example, converged architecture comprises storage, networking, compute and server virtualization hardware, tied together with a centralized management platform. The systems can be delegated as needed. Hyper-converged infrastructure systems may include other elements found in the data center, including backup, compression and optimization systems.
But it’s important to understand that hyper-converged systems are not for everyone. They are software-defined and may be better suited for organizations looking to meet a very specific workload need. However, converged architecture costs can be lower than hyper-converged costs because of the software associated with the latter.
Converged and hyper-converged systems also scale differently. With converged infrastructure, scaling means scaling up: adding more drives, memory or CPUs, or even another reference architecture altogether. With hyper-converged systems you scale out: adding another appliance when the need arises.
Gartner defines three phases of integrated systems:
- Phase 1-the peak period of blade systems (2005 to 2015)
- Phase 2- the arrival of converged infrastructures and the advent of HCIS for specific use cases (2010 to 2020)
- Phase 3-continuous application and micro-services delivery on HCIS platforms (2016 to 2025)
Gartner notes that the progression of HCIS will depend on multiple hardware and software advances, such as networking and software-defined enterprises.
Underwritten by HPE
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