Information technology is evolving with each passing year, and only the forward-looking companies will catch up on promising innovations and integrate them into their operations early. One of these breakthrough technologies is the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), also known as hyperconvergence. In a nutshell, hyperconvergence is a virtualized IT architecture that combines crucial data components into a single, unified software platform, including backup, networking, storage, computing, protection, and more.
Although the concept is still to gain the traction and recognition it deserves, the technology is expected to rise in popularity in the years to come due to the numerous benefits it brings to enterprises. Let’s take a look at what hyperconvergence brings to the table, and how it can help you run your company from a highly-sophisticated and centralized piece of software.
Consolidating cross-department workflow
The first major benefit of a hyper-converged infrastructure is the ability to bring various functionality features such as compute, storage, and networking under a single virtual architecture. This means that you can consolidate wide area networks, eliminate duplicates, and manage backup storage from a centralized location, and with a great deal of automation and efficiency to boot.
With a streamlined workflow architecture such as this, you can easily transfer virtual machines between entire data centers in your company, and of course, different HCI appliances. What this means for your company as a whole is that back-office applications such as inventory, HR, accounting, reporting, quality control, and CRM systems can all be managed in the virtual realm.
Increased data protection
Data protection is one of the most important elements of a high-functioning and effective IT infrastructure. Hyperconvergence is a grand step forward for data protection and infrastructure resilience, as it offers a complete data recovery toolkit to keep your business safe. The software additionally allows you to back up your data on a public cloud storage platform if need be.
Another vital advantage of a hyper-converged infrastructure lies in higher infrastructure resilience. Given the fact that the data is not stored in a single location, but rather scattered across multiple nodes and even entire data centers in different locations, there is no way for the entire system to give out at any given point. If an entire HCI appliance goes offline, other data centers and nodes will ensure that you maintain performance and retain control of the data at all times.
Flexible and scalable growth
Traditional IT infrastructures based on manual computing and decentralized architectures are notoriously difficult to scale, especially in a rapidly growing environment. The innate lack of flexibility of these systems requires you to provision, configure, and finally implement computing power and storage capacity. On the other hand, innovative cloud computing platforms that are both hardware and software-based are built on hyper-converged infrastructure and offer easy and intuitive scalability through automatic capacity expansion.
You can simply attach a new HCI appliance into the hyper-converged infrastructure to achieve this, all without having to go through money-wasting downtime as you would with a legacy system. Instead of spreading compute and storage capacity across multiple separate functions, every HCI appliance is a self-sustained environment you can easily upgrade in small increments – effectively maximizing efficiency and accurately scaling your infrastructure.
A cost-effective solution
Increased revenue is not the only measure of success in the modern business world, as cutting operational costs and minimizing financial leaks are also vital elements of long-term solvency. Unlike traditional infrastructures, hyper-converged architectures have a low entry cost because of their streamlined requirements for equipment. Complemented with high virtualization on all fronts, the cost-effective nature of this solution becomes clear.
While legacy infrastructures required the components to be physically replaced in order to give way to new, more powerful hardware, hyperconvergence allows the business to add new features seamlessly and limit on-site IT for better cost reduction and higher long-term sustainability. Nevertheless, some form of on-premises oversight will remain for the foreseeable future.
Automation at its finest
Automation within traditional infrastructures has always been wishful thinking rather than a possibility, especially in complex enterprise systems entailing the use of multiple systems and various hardware. However, hyperconvergence is a software-defined data center, which means that all of the essential services and features such as storage, compute, and servers are managed within a virtualized infrastructure. This high level of centralization makes the automation of certain tasks a distinct possibility for the first time.
Before the creation of the hyper-converged infrastructure, IT needed to procure and integrate hardware from different sources – a problem that hyperconvergence eliminates by creating a cohesive computing environment. This directly influences the efficiency of the infrastructure, allowing you to automate tasks and cut upkeep costs significantly over the long run.
The hyper-converged infrastructure is the way of the future, and it’s rapidly weaving itself into the modern business world. By integrating hyperconvergence into your business structure and eliminating legacy systems, you can achieve higher efficiency and performance while elevating data protection and ensuring responsive scalability that will aid the further expansion of your business.
Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.