Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) combines elements of common datacentre hardware with intelligent software to create flexible building blocks that replace legacy infrastructure. HCI converges the entire datacentre stack, including compute, storage, storage networking, and virtualisation. Hyperconverged infrastructure promises to deliver simplicity and flexibility when compared with legacy solutions. The integrated storage systems, servers and networking switches are designed to be managed as a single system, across all instances of a hyperconverged infrastructure. The inherent management capabilities enable ease of use, and software-defined storage is expected to yield greater scalability and resource efficiency. Companies can start small and grow resources as needed. HCI promises potential cost savings in areas including data centre power and space; IT labour; and avoidance of licensed software such as backup or disaster recovery tools.
The HCI Marketplace
Computer Reseller News says that the HCI marketplace is projected to reach $7B in sales this year, with no signs of slowing down in 2020. Growth rates are between 24% and 47%. Clearly, HCI is on a strong growth trajectory. Hyperconvergence is winning over enterprises that are drawn to its potential to ease management, streamline the deployment of new workloads, and optimize infrastructure costs. As much as 20% of business-critical applications currently deployed on three-tier IT infrastructure will transition to hyperconverged infrastructure by 2020, predicts Gartner, which recently gave the technology its own magic quadrant.
Historically, HCI was deployed for one primary application, such as VDI. A survey conducted by Evaluator Group showed that the number one use-case for HCI this year is “Consolidation.” This indicates the exploitation of HCI for multiple applications, as the technology becomes more familiar to IT organisations, and more accepted in enterprise data centres. Other major workloads for HCI are database, cloud (as part of a hybrid cloud deployment), offsite DR, big data, test and DevOps, and backup/data protection. Almost 80% of HCI users are increasing their usage of the technology.
Trends in HCI
Organisations are seeing HCI as an element of a hybrid cloud, and as software-defined infrastructure. This enables them to create a cloud-like provisioning model, while also maintaining physical control of the infrastructure, thereby keeping data on premise. This is an important consideration where data sovereignty is critical.
In a related sense, HCI enables organisations to leverage standardised, software-defined, highly automated infrastructure that is increasingly the on-premise backbone of a seamless multi-cloud world.
Gartner Group sees HCI as the natural resting place for applications, and a good alternative to public cloud from a performance, manageability at scale, and cost perspective. Gartner is anticipating high sales growth for HCI in 2020.
A new trend for HCI in 2020 will be new automation and machine learning software from vendors to help manage the complexity of decentralised and distributed systems. For example, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)’s GreenLake Flex Capacity will deliver a suite of curated solutions that deliver IT outcomes with hardware, software, and expertise on-premise. GreenLake Flex Capacity is an outcome-based IT consumption model that is operated for you, but you will retain control. It will deliver the advantage of public cloud – simplicity, scale, pay-per-use – with security and control of on-premise IT.
The fastest-growing application for HCI is for backup and data protection. A data protection solution purpose built and integrated with HCI will make data protection management easy enough for any generalist to handle yet powerful enough for even the most extreme recovery requirements.
According to Gartner Group, the number of edge and micro data centres will quadruple due to factors such as 5G and HCI. The ease of consolidating compute, storage, network, and management software behind a single pane of glass makes it ridiculously easy to deploy computing where it’s needed. This use case could also benefit from HPE’s new Nimble Storage dHCI Solution, since remote office and edge use cases require less compute and storage but still benefit from centralised management and HA designs.
For more information about HPE Hyperconverged Infrastructure such as SimpliVity, Nimble Storage dHCI, and GreenLake Flex Capacity, please contact onel as follows:
Phone: (03) 9653 6400