Understanding Hyper-Convergence Infrastructure

The Challenge

The modern datacentre is designed with virtualisation in mind: two or more servers, and shared storage (SAN). This proven standard has changed the landscape of modern business computing for decades, but industry leaders have begun to recognise the shortcomings in separating server from storage: maintenance, patching, warranty, and management are all doubled.  Traditional storage arrays have limitations on performance capabilities as the business grows.

 

If you’re reviewing your infrastructure requirements to address any of the above scenarios or you would like to know more, contact us today to discuss your business requirements.

The Solution

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure takes advantage of several leading technologies to create a new style of solution that removes much of the complexity for the customer.  While each vendor has their own take on what Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is, it can generally be defined as a solution where much the complexity is removed by creating pre-designed, pre-configured nodes that contain local storage, networking and compute. While a hyper-converged will generally require 2 or 3 nodes as a minimum, infrastructure can be expanded at any time simply by adding additional nodes, giving you more bandwidth, compute and storage.

 

Hyper-Converged nodes usually include the latest technologies such as SSDs, flash, 10G or 40G networking, software defined storage and the latest hypervisors.

 

Hyper-Convergence is not for everyone though, this simplicity comes at the expense of flexibility, particularly in the area of being able scale out storage and compute at significantly different rates.   Hyper-convergence is perfectly suited to address the following scenarios:

 

  • Business Critical Applications
  • End-user Computing – VDI
  • Remote Office deployment
  • Management Clusters

VMWare VSAN

VSAN

Compatible with a vast range of modern servers from all major vendors, VMware vSAN manages disk-in-server storage – complete with redundancy, deduplication, compression, and I/O optimisation – right from the ESXi operating system.

 

Data is replicated or striped across servers (hosts), enabling redundancy for 1, 2 or more host failures, or complete replication. Flash caching delivers the speed of SSD and the capacity of HDD in a hybrid build, or all-flash configurations for applications with rapid performance in mind.

The Solution

  • Product Offering – vSAN is available as an appliance or as a pre-certified vSAN ReadyNode available from all major server vendors
  • Simplicity – Designed for vSphere administrators, vSAN eliminates the need for an external storage array
  • Disks – Pool storage using hybrid (magnetic and flash) or all flash arrays
  • Innovation – Leveraging the hypervisor, resources are now more VM-aware and achieves the same operational efficiency that server virtualisation brought to compute
  • Industry-leading – VMWare is uniquely position to deliver software-defined storage to remove the physical storage layer to the virtual machines

Cisco HyperFlex

HyperFlex

Cisco Hyperflex marks the cutting edge of HCI. With Cisco’s HX Data Platform, Hyperflex servers autonomously establish and maintain a unified storage array, complete with redundancy, deduplication, compression, I/O optimisation, and more. A single, shared storage is presented to all Hyperflex servers, so before your virtual environment comes into the picture, your storage is exactly what you need it to be.

The Solution

  • Cisco HyperFlexTM Systems, powered by Intel processors, deliver a new generation of hyperconverged solutions that are flexible, scalable, and enterprise class. They combine the software-defined networking and software-defined computing of the Cisco Unified Computing SystemTM with Cisco HyperFlex HX Data Platform software to provide a single distributed, multitier, object- based data store with enterprise storage features.
  • Agile – Cisco’s end-to-end solution helps you work faster and more quickly achieve your business’s digital transformation.
  • Efficient – HyperFlex solution keeps your data optimized and your infrastructure aligned with application requirements.
  • Adaptable – Cisco and Integrated Solutions will help make you ready for an expanding range of applications and operating models.