Software and hardware disaggregation is driving new product categories for next-generation data centers (DCs) that include converged appliances, high-density servers, and software-defined storage and networking equipment. Within these Converged DCs, the hottest areas of hardware innovation are converged infrastructure platforms that integrate hyper- and rack-scale hardware with virtualized software stacks for compute and storage.
Converged infrastructure (CI) is typically a large, rack-scale platform that combine compute, storage and networking into a packaged, turnkey product while Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) usually refers to usually 1U or 2U (rack-unit) systems that consolidate one or more multi-core servers with a local storage array. The nodes are controlled by a centrally-managed HCI software stack that provides a hypervisor, software-defined storage and virtual networking that pools resources among all nodes in an HCI cluster. Often, these HCI clusters are connected via high-speed flexible networking fabrics to ensure performance. These all-in-one designs have several significant advantages compared to traditional servers: easier to purchase, faster to deploy and manage and potentially lower operating and capital costs.
As the Converged DC evolves, SDxCentral will keep you up to date with the latest news and educational resources. To learn more about current news around CI and HCI, check out the resources below.