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), software-defined storage and virtualized networking (software-defined networking). HCI typically runs on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers.
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 (shared) across all instances of a hyper-converged infrastructure.
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. HCI infrastructures are usually made up of server systems equipped with Direct-Attached Storage (DAS). HCI includes the ability to plug and play into a data-center pool of like systems. All physical data-center resources reside on a single administrative platform for both hardware and software layers. 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.[need quotation to verify]
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. It is likely to further simplify management and increase resource-utilization rates where it does apply.
- Converged infrastructure
- Dynamic infrastructure
- Intelligent workload management
- Software-defined data center
- Sverdlik, Yevgeniy (2015-12-10). "Why Hyperconverged Infrastructure is so Hot". Datacentre knowledge. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Toigo, Jon William (2015-08-28). "Hyperconvergence: Hype and Promise". Virtualization review. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Duffy, Jim. "Containers, hyperconvergence and disaggregation are hot". Network World. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Schneider, Troy K. (2015-11-04). "Lenovo to launch hyperconverged infrastructure line". GCN. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Weiss, George J. (6 February 2015). "Plan Now for the Future of Converged Infrastructure". Gartner. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- "Evaluating Data Protection for Hyperconverged Infrastructure". Infostor. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Moore, John. "Selling hyper-converged architecture: A channel primer". Search it channel. TechTarget. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Vellante, David (10 December 2012). "Converged Infrastructure Moves from Infant to Adolescent". Wikibon. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Bridgwater, Adrian (10 June 2015). "Nutanix: Why Cloud Was Never Really Flexible, Until Hyperconvergence". Forbes. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Patrick Hubbard. "Hyper-converged infrastructure forcing new thinking for networks". Techtarget. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Arthur. "IT Turns to Hyperconvergence, But Is It Right for All Occasions?". Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Chloe Green. "Why hyperconvergence and robots are the CIO's innovation starting blocks". Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Darryl K. Taft. "IBM Sees Flash, Hyper-convergence Among Top 2016 Storage Trends". Eweek. Retrieved 8 February 2016.