Converged/Hyper-Converged Infrastructures: Key Info & Big Benefits
The ever-growing popularity of the private cloud is due to the ease and cost-effectiveness it brings to data storage. Today, there are numerous services that are being relocated to the cloud, reflecting the newest trend: the converging of a variety of service types, allowing users to centralize their software, infrastructure, and platform in one specific place. The benefit is, you can easily use one provider and select exactly the services needed for your business.
Understanding Converged Infrastructure
As more data center infrastructures are undergoing 'white-box' reconstruction, this can result in an unreliable data center. It causes increased overhead and failures after configuration changes are applied. For this reason, converged infrastructure conversations have skyrocketed and white box assembly is being implemented to produce virtual environments. To better understand how converged infrastructure benefits private cloud users, the following definitions are provided:
- Converged infrastructure is comprised of at least two computing solutions that are combined then delivered via joint collaboration as a melded solution.
- Implements a preconfigured computed solution originally provided by a vendor(s). It is mainly designed to provide centralized control via a single management panel.
- Converged infrastructure is often referred to as infrastructure in a box.
Multiple Services Offered
As cloud services grow and evolve, more types of services are now available including:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Platform as a Services (PaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
Recent trends show a growing number of service providers are leaning towards a service model that combines all of these various service types. This results in a single vendor providing both IaaS and PaaS when seeking to move to the cloud.
Hyper-Converged Infrastructure: It's All Here
A hyper-converged infrastructure is securely integrated with computing, storage, virtualization, and networking software. Its components enable control of all its integrated resources from a single centralized toolset. A hyper-converged infrastructure takes the converged infrastructure, to the next level, demonstrated by a vendor providing a preconfigured software bundle which includes the hardware as a single unit. This kind of infrastructure is less complicated helping to make resource management more efficient.
According to James Green, a writer, and consultant for Enterprise IT and partner at ActualTech Media, "Since HCI is a simple, cost-effective way to build clouds, it has a role in all three types of cloud implementations; private cloud, hybrid cloud, and public cloud, rather than setting up the "pieces" of the infrastructure and orchestrating them to work together, simply plug the appliance into a rack, turn it on, and you can be ready to go in an hour or less. That means there is no hypervisor to configure, no coordinating virtual machines (VMs) and storage, no siloing of servers. Everything just works together and at a lower cost."
Benefits of Hyper-Convergence
1) Software-defined storage: Storage nodes function as one reliable storage pool. If one node goes down, the remaining nodes keep working.
2) Agility: In an infrastructure that is hyper-converged, workloads are accessible under the same administrator. This feature makes it easy to relocate workloads from one place to another.
3) Scalability: The node-based design allows you to scale up the hyper-converged data center. Add or take away nodes according to resource demand.
4) Data protection: Allows for effortless data restoration.
5) Cost efficiency: Hyperconvergence is an affordable, cost-effective model for your IT department as it requires less equipment to buy, support, and maintain.