Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) consolidates the individual storage, compute, and networking components into one IT framework via software-defined networking. HCI uses include lowering cost for both OPEX and CAPEX, streamlining storage management and increasing flexibility. That’s not all of the attained benefits and HCI uses.
Dell EMC reasons that “digital transformation is causing data centers to modernize their infrastructure, migrating from virtualization to cloud computing.” Digital transformation and advanced computing prompted the shift toward a unified compute storage system, called the converged infrastructure (CI). HCI evolved CI and shares some similarities, but it differs in a few notable ways, mainly that HCI is software-defined and it’s not a turnkey product like CI.
The HCI Use Cases
Enterprise Data Center Infrastructure: HCI works well with traditional data center applications that require centralized storage since it uses a rack system. Even if those applications don’t need virtualization, the HCI will still run and support those applications.
Enterprise (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) VDI: This, according to Hewlett Packard Enterprise, is the original intent behind HCI. HCI brings forth deduplication and compression of storage, which both act as a “key technology that enables the use of persistent desktops in a VDI environment.”
Private Cloud: HCI delivers the onsite cloud with the benefits of the public cloud, including the flexibility and accessibility benefits. Since HCI deploys the private cloud onsite, network administrators have the ability to monitor and control their network while non-IT employees can easily access the private cloud.
Edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT): VMware boldly states that “hyper-convergence at the edge is the new IoT model for success.” Deploying HCI at microdata centers enables advanced technology, such as IoT, to connect to the edge of a network as HCI increases scalability and flexibility of the edge network.
Remote and Branch Offices: HCI simplifies the IT management of an enterprise’s remote or branch office locations by using servers across office locations and instilling unified performance management for all sites as well. Plus, WEI states that “the modular style of Hyperconverged scalability lets the branch office operate with affordable appliances initially and scale up as needs change.”