What can a Hyper-Converged Data Center do for your Business?
Hyper-converged data centers are taking virtualization to the next level. They offer greater simplicity and scalability to meet business needs.
Virtualization is all about pretending. In a data center, a cluster of computers can pool their grunt and pretend to be a single "virtual" machine such as your file server.
Think of that virtual machine like a Boeing 747, with all four engines combining their thrust to keep the plane in the air. If one engine fails, then there's a drop in overall thrust, but thankfully your mission-critical plane doesn't fall from the sky.
Data center virtualization is also about flexibility. You can easily replace that troublesome engine mid-flight, or even spin up a new plane and transfer the passengers without skipping a beat. Your file server stays in the air, and the business isn't grounded.
So what is a Hyper-Converged Data Center?
Here your virtual servers are managed by an underlying layer of virtualization which pools all your hardware.
Our fleet of 747s now shares a pool of jet engines, with the pilots more interested in available thrust than the performance of individual engines. If an engine fails, or a plane demands extra grunt to handle a heavy load, you can easily redistribute your thrust across the fleet.
Of course, plenty of data centers run multiple virtual servers on a single pool of hardware. Those that rely on pre-configured bundles of computing, storage and perhaps networking hardware from a single vendor are generally called "converged" datacenters.
In a "hyper-converged" datacenter you have a cluster of appliance-style nodes rather than bundles of hardware handling different roles. The nodes are modular appliances that combine x86 computing, storage, and networking in a single box. The software combines the nodes to build the resources it needs, and you can manage every aspect of the data center from a single console.
Now our 747s don't just pool jet engines. Instead, entire planes are built from a pile of standard blocks rather than custom parts. The software builds each plane and reconfigures the fleet as required. Need more resources? Simply tip more blocks into the pile and the software builds what it needs.
What are the Pros and Cons of a Hyper-Converged Data Center?
Hyper-convergence lets you upgrade your data center hardware in bite-sized chunks. Making small hardware upgrades as required can help you break free from the big bang refresh cycle, where you spend big on data center capacity every few years and hope it will tide you over until the next major upgrade.
That said, the all-in-one nature of hyper-convergence appliances can make upgrades expensive if you're only chasing more storage and not computing power, or vice versa. Another downside is you may lose the freedom to mix and match the hardware, depending on your vendor, as you're locked into hyper-converged architecture from a single vendor. Current Technologies is hardware agnostic which allows us to work with hardware partners and can let you tweak box configurations to best suit your needs, custom creating the best possible solution for your business.