Hyper-converged infrastructure

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Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is a software-defined IT infrastructure that virtualizes all of the elements of conventional "hardware-defined" systems. HCI includes, at a minimum, virtualized computing (a hypervisor), a virtualised SAN (software-defined storage) and virtualized networking (software-defined networking). HCI typically runs on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers. The term was first used in this context by analyst Arun Taneja of the Taneja Group in 2012.[1][2]

The primary difference between converged infrastructure (CI) and hyper-converged infrastructure is that in HCI, both the storage area network and the underlying storage abstractions are implemented virtually in software (at or via the hypervisor) rather than physically, in hardware. Because all of the software-defined elements are implemented within the context of the hypervisor, management of all resources can be federated across all instances of a hyper-converged infrastructure.

Expected benefits[edit]

Hyperconvergence evolves away from discrete, hardware-defined systems that are connected and packaged together toward a purely software-defined environment where all functional elements run on commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) servers, with the convergence of elements enabled by a hypervisor.[3][4] HCI infrastructures are made up of server systems equipped with Direct-Attached Storage (DAS).[5][6] HCI includes the ability to plug and play into a data-center pool of like systems.[7][8] All physical data-center resources reside on a single administrative platform for both hardware and software layers.[9] Consolidation of all functional elements at the hypervisor level, together with federated management, eliminates traditional data-center inefficiencies and reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) for data centers.[10][need quotation to verify][11][12][13]

Potential impact[edit]

The potential impact of the hyper-converged infrastructure is that companies will no longer need to rely on different compute and storage systems, though it is still too early to prove that it can replace storage arrays in all market segments.[14] It is likely to further simplify management and increase resource-utilization rates where it does apply.[15][16][17]

While hyperscale web services also use original design manufacturer x86 systems with software in custom ways, a model that is clearly scalable, they do so with a variety of optimized server types (some of which have no durable capacity) and storage approaches, not with one. See e.g. the variety of approaches in the Open Compute Project. Hyperconvergence is consistent in some key ways with this model, but it is simplified for smaller deployments by most vendors through focusing on one type of system and storage infrastructure, and this is believed to limit its success to date in mixed use, low latency and Tier 1 deployments at scale.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "HyperConvergence: Next Generation Virtualization". www.infostor.com. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  2. ^ "Prepare for the era of the data center in a box". Computerworld. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  3. ^ Yevgeniy Sverdlik. "Why Hyperconverged Infrastructure is so Hot". Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  4. ^ Jon William Toigo. "Hyperconvergence: Hype and Promise". Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  5. ^ Jim Duffy. "Containers, hyperconvergence and disaggregation are hot". Network World. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  6. ^ Danny Bradbury (14 December 2015). "Stratoscale expands hyperconvergence market". IT World Canada. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  7. ^ Troy K. Schneider. "Lenovo to launch hyperconverged infrastructure line". Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  8. ^ George J. Weiss (6 February 2015). "Plan Now for the Future of Converged Infrastructure". Gartner. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Evaluating Data Protection for Hyperconverged Infrastructure". Infostor. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  10. ^ John Moore. "Selling hyper-converged architecture: A channel primer". TechTarget. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  11. ^ Joseph F. Kovar (4 November 2014). "Cisco, Intel Invest In Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Player Stratoscale". The Channel Company. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  12. ^ David Vellante (10 December 2012). "Converged Infrastructure Moves from Infant to Adolescent". Wikibon. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  13. ^ Adrian Bridgwater (10 June 2015). "Nutanix: Why Cloud Was Never Really Flexible, Until Hyperconvergence". Forbes. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  14. ^ Patrick Hubbard. "Hyper-converged infrastructure forcing new thinking for networks". Techtarget. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  15. ^ Arthur Cole. "IT Turns to Hyperconvergence, But Is It Right for All Occasions?". Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  16. ^ Chloe Green. "Why hyperconvergence and robots are the CIO's innovation starting blocks". Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  17. ^ Darryl K. Taft. "IBM Sees Flash, Hyper-convergence Among Top 2016 Storage Trends". Eweek. Retrieved 8 February 2016.