What Comes After Hyper-converged Infrastructure?
Hyper-converged infrastructure has helped enterprises develop more efficient IT practices, but industry experts are already envisioning the next generation of server technology.
As enterprises seek out ways to streamline their IT infrastructure and make life easier for their increasingly time-strapped engineers, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) has emerged as a promising and flexible solution. By tightly integrating compute, storage, and networking resources — resources that are commonly bundled but not as connected in traditional, more siloed systems — HCI makes infrastructure management straightforward and easy to scale.
Despite the benefits of this technology, industry experts have already begun to speculate as to what might come next, both in terms of improvements for HCI and for capabilities that emerge from it. While it’s clear that HCI has benefits to offer enterprises that understand how to properly manage it and integrate it into their systems, there’s still work to be done to make the most of HCI — even as the industry prepares for the next generation of infrastructure convergence.
Where HCI Fits In
In the past, on-premise IT infrastructures were discrete but connected — in other words, compute, storage, and networking all had their own boxes. Under this model, administrators needed different staff with different expertise to handle disparate tasks ranging from compute functions to network maintenance.
This changed with the advent of converged infrastructure. Less integrated than HCI but still ahead of traditional, more siloed set-ups, converged infrastructure bundled essential IT capabilities together with management software that previous designs lacked, making it easier to configure hardware and ensure hardware-software compatibility.
With the evolution of HCI, IT infrastructure has become more software-centric. In addition to bundling togethering IT resources, HCI includes a single software-defined data center management platform and a virtualized software layer — also known as a hypervisor — that technology professionals can use to better manage their network with comprehensive visibility.
The Advantages of HCI
Through this more interconnected framework, HCI helps enterprises reduce their overall IT spend by placing a premium on flexibility. This means that it’s easier for staff to onboard and configure new assets. It also means that it’s more straightforward for generalists to manage the entire system without the need for specific expertise or external vendor involvement.
For enterprises considering moving toward an HCI framework, the use cases are many and varied. To begin with, HCI is known for its scalability, combining compute, storage, and network functions through virtual management controls that can be up and running straight out of the box. HCI technology also streamlines analytics, with software like Nutanix affording IT staff intuitive automation and reporting functionality. Further, HCI systems integrate well with the hardware layer of your IT infrastructure, reducing the footprint of your infrastructure and cutting costs along the way.
While some businesses may be skeptical of passing fads in the IT space, HCI has already provided discernable and valuable benefits for the companies that have adopted it. Businesses are turning to HCI to extract greater value from edge computing capabilities, as it leverages the cloud to make the most of IoT-enabled devices gathering and storing data at the edge. Additionally, platforms such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s SimpliVity boast strong data deduplication and compressions capabilities that can help enterprises expand and diversify their IoT slate.
The Next Generation of Convergence
Even as many enterprises begin to look at HCI seriously for the first time, experts are imagining what will come next. Beyond convergence and hyperconvergence, for instance, some are predicting the move to superconvergence — a term which hasn’t yet gained complete traction.
Under this model, IT professionals expect to see greater integration of the hypervisor and virtualization capabilities in the same hardware-software combination. Having begun from completely siloed IT infrastructure, this level of convergence would completely unite almost every aspect of the IT stack.
Finding Partners Who Can Help
Wherever your enterprise IT infrastructure currently lies, taking the next step toward greater convergence will depend on your unique needs and capabilities. However you move forward, it’s important to understand that your investment in new technology should be able to accomodate your needs over the next ten years just as well as your present-day requirements.
If you’re curious about the value-add of HCI, finding an experienced IT partner who can guide you through the decision-making process is essential. With nearly three decades of experience, Turn-key Technologies has the expertise and resources needed to deliver cutting-edge data management solutions to your team.
Indeed, whether you’re looking to leverage Cloud technology in order to move beyond the limitations of overly-siloed IT functionalities or you’re preparing to leap from converged systems to complete hyperconvergence, our team knows how to take your enterprise to the next level.
By Craig Badrick