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5 benefits of a hyper-converged strategy

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Converging your infrastructure to reduce servers, storage systems, networks and power solutions makes basic business sense. Yet convergence is just the starting point – a new approach, known as hyper-convergence, takes the effective management of IT resources to a whole new level.

While converged systems are separate components engineered to work well together, hyper-converged systems are linked systems designed to be scalable through the optional addition of extra modules. Such hyper-converged appliances offer integrated compute, storage and networking capabilities.

Such is the potential of the approach that researcher IDC reports that spending on hyper-convergence grew 148 per cent year-on-year during the first quarter of 2016, generating $371.88m in sales. So why are IT managers so keen on hyper-convergence? There are five key benefits.

1. Simplified resource management

Information technology managementIDC’s definition suggests hyper-converged appliances collapse core storage and compute functionality into a single, highly virtualised solution. The key characteristic, says the researcher, is an ability to provide all compute and storage functions through the same server-based resources.

That’s a far simpler approach than the traditional IT infrastructure of siloed operations, with separate administrative groups and systems for storage, servers and networks. It’s also simpler than converged systems, where the storage control layer provides granular control.

2. Configurable systems that help the business make best use of resources

Hyper-converged systems also offer simplified administration. Traditional IT infrastructure relies on different applications teams for storage, virtualisation and network management. Hyper-convergence brings those resources together. Rather than grappling with a series of applications, IT professionals can manage the hyper-converged stack through a single pane of glass.

This configurability can extend to your existing resources, too. Some hyper-convergence software tools allow IT managers to run software-defined technology on top of discrete server, storage and network resources. By pooling resources in this manner, the business can make more effective use of already-purchased kit and help improve resource management in the long term.

3. Fewer suppliers to control and more effective vendor partnerships

Modern IT managers are faced with a plethora of potential software and hardware solutions. To spend more time innovating on behalf of the business, and less time maintaining IT operations, technology decision makers must have a strong relationship with trusted vendor partners.

A single partner provides the entire hyper-converged stack to the business. Rather than an ecosystem of partners across computer, storage and networks, IT managers can benefit from having an integrated infrastructure from a single supplier. The result is more clearly defined vendor management relationships.

4. Scalable resources to meet new business demands

More importantly of all, your options are not restricted because your hardware resources are converged in a single stack. The watchword when it comes to hyper-convergence is flexibility. Hyper-converged systems are modular and designed to scale-up as business demands change.

The key to scalability is convergence and control through the software layer. IT managers can add more appliances to boost business capacity and performance. Rather than having to keep adding new hardware components as demand increases, your business benefits from only having to source appliance modules from a single supplier.

5. Future-proof technology that’s ready for almost-constant transformation

Look for a hardware partner with established knowledge in delivering high quality compute, storage and server resources. Your supplier should also offer a range of software layer options. The ideal partner offers differentiated purpose-built appliances, in terms of integrated systems, factory installed solutions and flexible reference architectures.

The right partnership means your firm will benefit from an IT set-up that is clearly defined and easier to manage. The hyper-converged approach to resource use will be simpler, configurable and ready for the rapid change that characterises modern business. The time to embrace hyper-convergence is now.

Read more on how converged infrastructure solutions can benefit your business.

 


 

References:

IDC research: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS41547316

What you need to know about hyper-convergence: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/hyper-converged-systems-what-you-need-to-know-about-this-hot-virtualization-topic/

On hyper-converged prospects: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/05/dell_rides_vsan_scaleio_and_nutanix_hyperconverged_horses/

 

Mark Samuels

Mark Samuels

Mark Samuels is a business journalist specialising in IT leadership issues. Formerly editor at CIO Connect and features editor of Computing, he has written for various organisations, including the Economist Intelligence Unit, Guardian Government Computing and Times Higher Education. Mark is also a contributor for CloudPro, ZDNetUK, TechRepublic, ITPro, Computer Weekly, CBR, Financial Director, Accountancy Age, Educause, Inform and CIONET. Mark has extensive experience in writing on the topic of how CIO’s use and adopt technology in business.

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