Essentials of Hyper-convergence

Big Data

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There is a recent focus of organizations to adopt hyper-convergence in the data center with the primary goal of reducing if not eliminating time and cost associated with running aging infrastructure. The resulting lift in performance and agility is also creating faster revenue streams.

Infrastructures are either converged or hyper-converged IT systems and the converged ones are those composed of a loose coupling of storage, networking, server, and virtualization technologies managed by a software manager who works with the same managers of other systems which were tedious because of the many layers. 

The hyper-converged system, on the other hand, reduces the number of layers from four to only two, with the more agile layer serving as the intelligence of the system. These hyper-converged systems are considered software defined systems and they are useful since the three primary foci for hyper-convergence are the faster time to market applications, faster systems, and lower ownership costs.

Because of the present complexity and fast pace in today's environment, businesses have to develop better applications in order to meet consumer needs giving rise to DevOps where applications are tested and produced quickly. This is possible because of the two-tier hyper-convergence system which simplifies the steps in making the applications, all of which can be done within the system, eliminating time-consuming steps. Apps are therefore modified, updated, and deployed faster. 

Hyperconvergence also results in faster applications since all the data are on the system itself with few layers needed to achieve the same outcome as before. With the addition of solid-state drives or SSDs, speeds 100 times faster are achieved versus the old system. 

Although there is a potential increase in the cost of the software, there is a lower total cost of ownership or TCO of the entire infrastructure as there is lesser hardware needed to get the same outcome. There is also lesser energy footprint, with lesser systems to acquire and maintain.

"Many of the advantages of the public cloud (lower costs, simplified control, faster deployment) are built into hyper-converged systems allowing organizations to enjoy these benefits within their own data centers as a private cloud," says Sumir Bhatia, President of Lenovo's Asia-Pacific data center. He also says that the common sense to the cloud is to go hybrid, which will allow customers to burst workload to the public cloud and also keep heavy workload on hand.

In the Asia-Pacific, he says that many companies have opted for a modular approach towards a hyper-converged infrastructure as compared to a big picture, company-wide digital transformation. The approach is more manageable, cost-efficient, and easier to complete within a set time frame.

Hyper-convergence is what is needed at present as technology rushes the data-intensive internet of things that is fuelling smart cities, homes, and offices.