Hyper-convergence is becoming a “hot” topic in the technical world. It has made a strong appearance in the industry and it is rapidly gaining popularity because of the numerous business needs it covers. According to a Gartner study, the hyper-converged market is projected to grow by 75% in 2016 and go “mainstream” in just a few years from now.
A hyper-converged solution offers an easier, more centralised way of managing IT infrastructure at a lower cost. Since hyper-convergence wasn’t around 4 years ago, it’s still a bit unclear if it can work for everyone – businesses work differently and have diverse needs.
At Jerome Technology we love hyper-converged infrastructures and we believe they are a great fit for SMBs and remote offices. However, there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution.
That is why we have tried to come up with some guidelines to help you choose the best infrastructure for your business. What are the differences between hyper-converged, converged and traditional infrastructures? What advantages does hyper-convergence offer and what use cases does it fit?
First off, let us take a look at what differentiates these infrastructures:
- A traditional infrastructure is built out of individual units; separate storage, application servers, networking and backup appliances that are interlinked
- Each unit must be configured individually
- Each component is managed individually; usually, that requires a team of IT experts, each specialized in a different field
- Sometimes, each unit comes from a different vendor, therefore support and warranty are managed individually
Use case: Traditional infrastructures are still a good fit for companies with a stable environment that handle very large deployments. Tens of petabytes, thousands of applications, many, many users, as well as a dedicated IT staff with specialisations in different datacenter fields. Think huge datacenters and large multi-national companies.
- Application servers, storage, and networking switches are sold as a single turn-key solution by a vendor
- the entire product stack is pre-configured for a certain workload; however, it does not offer a lot of flexibility to adapt for workload changes
- as in the case of traditional infrastructures, more challenging hardware issues may have to be handled by different providers
- every appliance in the converged stack needs to be managed separately in most cases
Use case: Converged infrastructures are ideal for companies that need a lot of control over each element in their IT infrastructure, as each element can be “fine-tuned” individually. They may also be a good fit for large enterprises who are replacing their entire infrastructure, as they do not need to browse the market and purchase every component separately.
- storage, networking and compute are combined in a single unit that is centrally managed and purchased from a single vendor
- all of the technology is integrated and it takes less time to configure the whole solution
- the software layer gives you flexibility in using hardware resources and makes the deployment and management of VMs easy
Use case: Small and medium enterprises which require a cost-effective, flexible and agile infrastructure that can be managed by 1-2 IT people.
Advantages of hyper-converged infrastructures
Our mission is to help SMBs manage their applications and data while lowering their cost, manpower requirements and IT resource delivery times. We believe hyper-converged infrastructures are the best way to achieve this mission. Here is why:
- Simplified management: a hyper-converged infrastructure unifies management in a single simple interface, allowing the rest of your IT team to focus on proactive parts of the business.
- Reduced costs and increased efficiency: lower costs of purchasing and management are achieved; they can go as far as 50% lower.
- Increased agility and faster deployment: allows much faster deployment of new infrastructure for new business applications.
- Data protection: improved data protection mechanisms thanks to the tight integration of components.
Conclusion: which type of infrastructure should you choose?
To sum things up, the size and needs of your business are to be taken into consideration when choosing a new infrastructure:
- If you have a very stable environment, a low turnover, a specialised IT staff and you also need ultra-high performance (1.000.000 IOPS), then a traditional infrastructure will work for you.
- If you need the performance and control of a traditional infrastructure but are deploying from scratch, choose a converged infrastructure to avoid the costs and troubles of hunting for many pieces of infrastructure from different vendors.
- If your business needs fast deployment, quick access to resources and a low foot print while keeping your overall IT budget low, then a hyper-converged infrastructure is the best for you.
How can we help?
Jerome Technology have the experience and resources in deploying IT infrastructures, particularly hyper-converged ones. Are you interested in finding a specific solution to match your business needs?
Get in touch! We are happy to offer you more tailored information.