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Deep Dive: Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) Getty Images

Deep Dive: Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI)

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is driving a big portion of IT infrastructure growth. This report explores the genesis of the technology, its benefits and drawbacks, use cases, acquisition models and expectations for the future.

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) systems are integrated solutions that combine compute, storage, management and usually networking functions into a comprehensive package; they’re all-in-one compute environments, sometimes referred to as data-centers-in-a-box (actually, several boxes).

Integrated systems grew out of the demand for higher-density computing due to server virtualization and for scalable capacity due to rapid data growth. Companies needed to simplify the increasingly complex infrastructures they were building with servers and storage arrays connected through storage area networks, or SANs. HCI technology fills that need.

While HCIs haven’t replaced traditional server/ SAN solutions, the adoption of this technology has grown at enterprises, after initially being taken up primarily by small and midsize companies. In fact, based on a new Evaluator Group study, “Hyperconverged in the Enterprise 2020,” in which three-quarters of respondents were from companies with 1,000 or more employees, HCI is in use or pending deployment in 70% of companies.

This report on hyperconverged infrastructure will look at why HCIs have become a go-to solution for companies of all sizes, where they are being used and what some of the technology differentiators are. It will also provide some background on how HCI technology works, where it came from and where it is going.