Traditional, Converged and hyper-converged Infrastructure

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There are three ways to build an IT Infrastructure environment:
1. Traditional Infrastructure:  Do-it-yourself
The traditional data center, also known as a “siloed” data center, relies heavily on hardware and physical IT infrastructure (Server, Network, Storage, Firewall etc.). It is defined by the physical infrastructure, which is dedicated to a singular purpose and determines the amount of data that can be stored and handled by the data center as a whole. Traditional data is based on Do-it-yourself (DIY) approach, where you combine compute, storage and network and add your own infrastructure management and deployment capabilities.

  • 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

2. Converged Infrastructure: Ready-made
Converged infrastructure (CI) brings compute, storage, networking and server virtualization tied together with a centralized management platform. Converged infrastructure (CI) is pre-engineered, pre-configured and deeply integrated systems to deliver mission-critical performance, high availability. With the Converged infrastructure (CI) approach, vendors combine compute, storage and network in a pre-configured capability with centralized management tool.

  • 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

Benefit of Converged Infrastructure (CI):

  • Reduced Cost
  • Reduced maintenance
  • Reduced IT staff
  • Single support point
  • It also uses a single end-of-support date for all the components
  • Reduced datacenter footprint
  • Less cabling
  • Faster deployment

The following are a set of typical applications & workload where the Converged Infrastructure delivers the maximum value to end users:

  • Large environments
  • Data center consolidation
  • Databases with high workload delivery
  • Mission Critical Apps

3. Hyper-converged: The building-block approach
Hyper-Converged is a type of infrastructure system with a software-centric architecture that tightly integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources and other technologies from scratch in a commodity hardware box supported by a single vendor.
Hyper-converged is a great solution for specific workloads. If you’re deploying a VDI solution, have requirements for remote branch offices, or need to build a pilot hybrid cloud strategy with automated on-prem-to-cloud workflows, a hyper-converged strategy may be right for you. It’s an exciting set of technologies, but one which may not necessarily suit every application workload. We see clients adopting this as part of their multi-year IT strategy.

  • 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

Benefit of Infrastructure (HCI):

  • Simplified Management
  • Rapid Deployment
  • Hardware Refreshes
  • Reduced Cost
  • Reduced maintenance
  • Reduced IT staff
  • Single support point
  • Reduces complexity and fragmentation in managing resources
  • Reduce data center footprint

The following are a set of typical applications & workload where the Hyperconverged Infrastructure delivers the maximum value to end users:

  • Small environments
  • VDI platforms
  • Test and development environment
  • Web Application, Big Data, Content management

Most leading CI and HCI solutions/Vendors:

  • DellEMC Vblocks/VxBlock (Converged)
  • Dell EMC VxRail/VxRack (Hyperconverged)
  • IBM VersaStack
  • Nutanix
  • Simplivity
  • NetApp/Cisco FlexPods
  • HDS Unified Compute Platform
  • Cisco HyperFlex
  • VSAN-ready Nodes on multiple server platforms
  • Atlantis HyperScale on Cisco
  • Pivot3 on Dell

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