The Evolution of Converged Infrastructure into HCI
Converged infrastructure usually has a framed architecture, requiring you to buy the frames and build them to obtain a converged platform. This approach isn’t very flexible, especially if you want to scale it. These infrastructures have evolved into hyperconverged infrastructures (HCIs), which is an IT infrastructure defined by software that virtualizes a system traditionally defined by hardware. HCIs eliminate many restrictions of converged infrastructure by using a building block design. Infrastructure designers are now able to build processing power, networks and storage in blocks that provide these computing resources in one place. The whole stack can typically be managed from a single user interface.
One of the biggest challenges with this design philosophy is that all these components must be purchased together in what’s known as a Greenfield deployment. The HCI is completely new, so nothing that’s currently on the premises can be integrated into it. The other major challenge is that designers are typically locked into buying these components in blocks, so they can’t scale their infrastructure by simply adding resources. Vendors handle this differently, of course, but HCI is generally restricted in the way it can be scaled.
Scaling HCI in the Form of Disaggregated Hyperconverged Infrastructure (dHCI)
Disaggregated hyperconverged infrastructure (dHCI) is the latest solution to scaling HCIs. This approach to building infrastructure involves buying a Greenfield deployment of an HCI. However, you can also integrate ProLiant servers into a dHCI if you already have them on premises in what’s known as a Brownfield deployment. Assume, for this example, that you have ProLiant Gen 9 or Gen 10 on premises. You can integrate an HPE Nimble Storage platform into your ProLiant estate, turning it into a dHCI platform.
Benefits of Using HPE Nimble as a dHCI
The benefits of using HPE Nimble storage dHCI include the following:
The primary benefit of dHCI is that it allows designers to use what they already have. The ability to convert a Nimble Storage platform into a dHCI allows you to run the entire infrastructure with one management integration, which is currently VMware. This capability allows you to integrate a Nimble platform with ProLiant servers and VMware to create a dHCI platform. HPE also plans to add other hypervisors and dHCI platforms in the future.
Another advantage of this design is that it provides a dHCI with Nimble’s extraordinary reliability. Nimble has an availability 99.9999 percent under field conditions, allowing users to run business-critical applications on a dHCI platform. Nimble also offers latencies of less than one millisecond, so users can also perform integrations that are consistent across applications. This capability means that you can use Nimble for data storage tasks like replication, restoration and snapshot backups in addition to data encryption. All of these applications can be natively integrated into Nimble, providing an availability of six nines.
The ability to perform predictive analytics on the entire stack is another major benefit of a dHCI platform. Nimble for example has, HPE InfoSight that allows you to collect and analyze data from virtual machines (VMs). These VMs include many components in the dHCI stack such as hypervisors, servers, storage devices and networks.
Native predictive analytics on the stack then allows you to determine where a problem is occurring, regardless of whether it’s the storage layer, networking layer, a physical server or a VM. InfoSight also provides one point of contact for customer support on the whole stack. Nimble Storage provides market-leading support for the servers, storage layer and virtualization because with Infosight installed, you can skip right to level three support.
A dHCI allows users to scale resources independently of each other, meaning you can add storage without adding compute power and vice versa. The ability to add resources as you need them means that you can run business-critical applications on a dHCI platform that’s easy to consume. Furthermore, it only takes 15 minutes to deploy the entire platform from start to finish, with a single administrator for the entire stack. You can also use HPE cloud volumes to integrate your platform with public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). This architecture allows you to easily replicate data and move it between the dHCI platform and public cloud, providing data mobility between an on-premises private cloud and an off-premises public cloud.
The Nimble dHCI platform doesn’t incur any additional charges. No additional hardware is required, assuming you already have Gen 9 or Gen 10 ProLiant servers on premises. In addition, there aren’t any other licensing fees for the new platform. Once you have the hardware, the integration needed to build the dHCI is straightforward and requires little time.
Meeting Scalability Needs With HPE Nimble dHCI
The software-defined environment of an HCI offers many benefits such as freedom from vendor lock-in and improved efficiency of your data center. However, standard HCIs can be expensive and challenging to implement because of the many services and integrations they typically include. dHCI is a refinement to the HCI model that allows users to easily scale their existing infrastructure. An HPE Nimble storage platform with ProLiant servers and VMware provide a dHCI solution with high reliability and low latency that’s economical and scalable. This on-premises solution also provides easy connectivity with public clouds, which is increasingly required for today’s data centers.
Comport has been providing storage solutions for over 30 years and specializes in data management. We have partnerships with major hardware providers like HPE, Cohesity, Nutanix and more. We also have an in-house team is dedicated to cloud solutions with certifications in many of the world’s top storage technologies, allowing us to pick the right solution for your needs.
Get started with HPE Nimble by requesting a data storage assessment from Comport to learn about areas of improvement for your current environment. Request a data storage assessment.