Convergence unifies storage and compute into one turnkey product. Adding networking into the mix with a software-defined approach is known as hyperconvergence. Note that hyperconvergence is not a turnkey product like convergence. Both convergence and hyperconvergence deliver virtualization to data infrastructures, offering solutions for advanced computing needs of flexibility and scalability by incorporating hypervisors. The convergence architecture varies depending on rather it’s converged infrastructure (CI) or hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI).
The Details of Convergence Architecture
A CI architecture joins storage with the physical server for centralized management. It merges the storage, compute, networking components into one unified product to speed up deployment and simplify resource management. Note that it is not uncommon for an enterprise to employ a CI that only combines the storage and compute products. CI contains the traditional components of a data center, however, it’s pre-configured by the manufacturers and managed by software. CI often includes a hypervisor, which allows enterprises to “create a bridge into the cloud.”
The Components of Hyperconverged Architecture
HCI, on the other hand, operates “a storage controller function that runs as a service on every node in the cluster, which is why this is classified as software-defined storage.” HCI relies on x86 commodity hardware. Use cases include dynamic computing—such as cloud computing– virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and remote office/branch office (ROBO). HCI contains two planes, a distributed data plane that manages node clusters for virtual machines (VMs) or containers; and a management plane, which is a centralized management for servers, storage, and virtualization. HCI’s distributed architecture groups “multiple systems within and between sites, forming a shared resource pool which enables high availability, workload mobility, and efficient scaling of performance and capacity.”