The conversation around hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) continues to heat up. A big part of this movement has been the ability to host more virtual workloads and control resources more effectively.
It’s important to note that there are a number of similarities between HCI and converged infrastructure (CI) environments. Both are deployed as blocks and both converge critical resources to deliver higher levels of density. However, the biggest difference comes in how these environments are managed.
The HCI appliance contains a virtual management controller that runs on each node within the cluster to ensure better failover capabilities, resiliency, uptime and resource management.
This means that the HCI appliance has direct integration with the virtualization architecture, allowing the virtualization software to help control physical resources like storage and how it is distributed to VMs. This brings elements of software-defined storage, allowing you to point other storage repositories or storage siloes into the HCI environment. It simplifies management and removes islands of lost resources.
Finally, the virtual management appliance (the virtual controller which manages the HCI architecture) integrates with existing hypervisor policies that are controlling RAM, graphics, networking and compute. This allows you to control different user groups are spread across numerous physical HCI clusters. Users get quick access to their virtual applications and desktops.
Remember, if you already have a virtualization ecosystem with management policies built in, you might need to take extra time to ensure the HCI technology will work within those confines. Sometimes HCI systems run proprietary, single hypervisor management solutions, which might not work in your environment. Ensure that your HCI solution can run on your virtualization platform rather than being restricted to another vendor’s technology.
HCI is a virtualization-enabled architecture. One of the greatest benefits to virtualization is the ability to integrate the hardware layer. Virtual management appliances running within the hypervisor overlooking the HCI infrastructure help further this integration. If you have older hardware or siloes of IT operations, HCI along with virtualization can help the IT department become much more efficient.
Organizations of all sizes are realizing the benefits of convergence. They can reduce their data center footprint, improve IT economics, and meet business needs faster. When software-defined technologies such as HCI begin to integrate with virtual desktop and application delivery, IT organizations can simplify management and support more business use-cases.
Underwritten by HPE, NVIDIA and VMware