What is a Hyperconverged System?
Before you can understand fully what a hyperconverged system is, you must understand its underlying component, the converged system.
An architecture with a converged system has the ability to combine storage, networking and computer hardware resources. All of this comes in a singular unit that can be controlled through a layer of software with the ability to pool hardware resources. You can also administer the physical infrastructure and use commodity hardware as well.
When you talk about a hyperconverged infrastructure, you’re speaking of a variation of the aforementioned converged infrastructure. The differences between the two are actually quite subtle. However, the number one difference is the way that either system handles its storage. The storage, networking and server components of a converged infrastructure are independent pieces that build towards a single process or solution. In a hyperconverged infrastructure, compute, networking and storage are combined into a modern, tightly integrated single system.
The Process of Hyperconvergence
Hyperconvergence has its origins in software defined storage. This kind of storage lets the end user provision and manage his own assets outside of the hardware that is being used. Hyperconvergence defines itself at the software storage layer, not at the hardware layer.
Many users without the ability or the resources to handle hardware defined systems began looking for new ways to integrate appliances with convergent infrastructures. The niche grew over time, and is now a viable alternative to the formerly standard SAN based storage infrastructure with separate servers providing the power behind the system.
IT teams also needed a more closely knit structure to drive integration with enterprises needing social, cloud and mobile applications. Hyperconvergent software is designed specifically for these environments becoming more virtual and less hardware defined. They can also be more cost-effective and less complex when compared to traditional storage, including NAS and SAN standards.
Moving Towards Hyperconverged Infrastructure
Hyperconverged infrastructure offers an agile solution for organizations looking to upgrade their data centers. But an overhaul of infrastructure resources is not always a feasible option. One way to handle this is to stage implementation over time. Start with SDDs for primary drives, converting HDDs to secondary storage only, and performance will get a boost right away. With newer technology to support IT upgrades like Virtual Desktop, you can prepare your environment for a gradual transition to software-defined storage. By moving away from traditional solutions, you can open the door for IT initiatives that will truly transform the business and make it more competitive.
The hyperconverged architecture is a boon for nearly any business that is looking to implement a longstanding strategic technology plan. Look to it for a variety of applications and to future proof your operations by ensuring compatibility with partner companies and greater agility when facing internal issues.