Businesses today require their data center solutions to reduce complexity in their operations and optimize costs, without compromising on security.
The main goal of hyper-convergence is aimed at delivering precisely these benefits to businesses. According to Markets and Markets, the global hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) market is set to reach $ 17 billion by 2023. Given the rising potential of this market, VARs can benefit highly from the delivery of HCI.
In this blog post, we give you an introduction to the key concepts of hyper-convergence and how you, as a value-added reseller, can evaluate different use cases for your customers.
What is Hyper-converged infrastructure?
Hyper-convergence, put simply, refers to a type of data center architecture that combines compute capacity, file storage, memory and network connectivity into a single system.
Traditional IT infrastructure is costly, complex and difficult to scale easily. On the other hand, Hyper-converged solutions allow the IT team to manage the system easily, taking away the complexity of managing each and every component separately.
What is the difference between Converged and Hyper-converged infrastructure?
While hyper-converged and converged infrastructure both integrate the components of a data center, they do so in different ways. In converged infrastructure, the components are integrated into a single system using hardware. This means that a converged infrastructure data center is similar to a conventional IT setup, with easier management. It can also be separated when required and used as server and storage for distinct purposes.
On the other hand, hyper-converged infrastructure integrates components via software, and they cannot be separated.
What are the pros and cons of hyper-converged infrastructure?
Hyper-converged infrastructure has its own benefits and challenges. HCI allows a business to have a highly integrated and tested system which leads to faster deployment and comparatively higher reliability. Additionally, it is easier to manage and provision, making it easier to scale.
Lastly, traditional IT infrastructure requires more complex management, which adds to its cost. The ease of use of HCI means cost-savings for the organization.
On the flip side, making upgrades or looking for compatible configurations in an HCI can be difficult for the IT team.
What are the best use cases for Hyper-converged infrastructure?
There are multiple cases when a VAR can recommend a hyper-converged network approach. However, first and foremost, the requirement must be determined from the organization’s demands,
for example –
- Branch Office Locations – If your customer has multiple offices across various locations, they may choose HCI for the convenience of managing the system centrally and remotely.
- Cost Manageability – SMBs often find that HCI is more cost-effective. VARs with SMB customers could suggest HCI, that would ease the financial strain on growing businesses while allowing them to scale capacity and power via an HCI setup.
- Simplification – Customers who are comparing converged infrastructure options often lean towards HCI, as this way they can simplify the platform – ultimately helping to save time and resources that would otherwise need to be committed for infrastructure management.
- Simplifying Backup and DR – As hyper-convergence tackles data center in a fundamentally altered way, backup and DR requires a different approach as well. In fact, by removing complexity from the system (an issue that ails many legacy data centers) backup and disaster recovery automatically become uncomplicated.
- Edge Computing – Generally, when a customer leverages edge computing, they move traditional data center functions such as compute and storage out of the data center and nearer to endpoints (e.g. POS systems and IoT devices).Since the HCI set up requires management with minimal resources, its ease of deployment removes the networking and configuration challenges that would be time-consuming on the EDGE.
As a Value-added reseller, you can add value to your customers, by identifying and creating a strategy for them. This should include their long-term/short- term goals and match those objectives to the benefits and challenges of implementing a converged or hyper-converged infrastructure model.