Hyper-Convergence and the Virtues of Low-Cost Hardware

Kurt Hildebrand
Data Center

Traditional IT infrastructures – with their independent components, multiple management consoles, interoperability challenges, and siloed resources – are becoming increasingly ill-suited to the competitive needs of the digital economy.

That’s why a growing number of enterprises are turning to hyperconverged data centers, motivated in large part by the flexibility and agility that pre-integrated storage, compute and network components can provide to their organizations. The hyperconverged infrastructure global market will more than double in 2015 to $807 million from $373 million just the year before, according to an IDC forecast.

While the strategic and operational advantages of an agile and flexible data center to organizations are considerable, hyperconverged infrastructures also offer many tangible benefits to IT departments, including:

  • Lower hardware costs
  • Lower operational costs
  • Reduced power consumption
  • Easier system management
  • Easier scalability

A single, commodity x86 appliance containing the essential components of the IT infrastructure can cost much less than the sum total of a traditional data center’s components, offering IT decision makers a strong, front-loaded financial case for hyperconvergence.

However, the financial benefits of hyperconverged data centers extend far beyond savings on capital expenditures to total cost of ownership. For starters, because hyperconverged appliances are basically plug-and-play, there are no real integration costs to consider, either initially or when adding more appliances.

Running a virtualized data center on less hardware can reduce operational costs as well as parts replacement over the lifetime of the equipment. Fewer hardware components translates into a smaller physical footprint and lower power and cooling expenses. One university in California reported reducing rack space by 94% and power costs by 88% after deploying a hyperconverged data center.

Finally, hyperconvergence tools such as automation and a single, centralized management console greatly increase the efficiency and reliability of the data center. This means IT departments can redeploy employees from routine administrative tasks to business-enabling projects. The IT staff of a multinational holding company based in Minnesota was spending 80% of its time on administrative duties and 20% on strategic initiatives. After the company implemented a hyperconverged infrastructure, IT workers now spend 80% of their time on innovation and supporting mission-critical initiatives.

For CIOs trying to manage data center operations on a tight budget and with dwindling staff, hyperconvergence presents an attractive option. But as with any nascent technology market rapidly attracting vendors, it’s important for IT decision makers to do their research and conduct due diligence before committing their enterprises to a specific hyperconverged system.

IT leaders should look at resources such as the excellent website hyperconverged.org, and assess the total costs of running their enterprise’s current data center so they’ll have a realistic frame of reference for the costs of a hyperconverged systems.

It’s also important that IT executives determine future data center needs, both to ensure the hyperconverged components will meet minimum anticipated requirements and to avoid spending more than necessary.

As an experienced IT services provider we can help guide CIOs through the process of choosing the best hyperconverged infrastructure solution for their organizations.