hyperconverged infrastructure represented by layered photo of a server room in a data center

Hyperconverged Infrastructure and the Hybrid Cloud: An Overview

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For more than a decade, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) has been streamlining data center operations, allowing them to grow more quickly and less expensively than earlier three-tier architectures. However, HCI did not stop there.

A new generation of HCI has evolved as the cornerstone for hybrid cloud IT operations, combining on-premises private and public cloud technologies. According to experts, this software-defined strategy has grown to fulfill various requirements. These include in-house application development, the flexibility to transport data and applications across cloud environments, and centralized and edge data centers.


What Hyperconverged Infrastructure Is

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is a distributed infrastructure platform that combines servers and storage with intelligent software. The combination results in customizable building blocks that replace historical infrastructure that consists of individual servers, storage networks, and storage arrays. It mixes commodity data center server hardware with locally connected storage devices (spin disk or flash). A distributed software layer drives it to minimize the typical pain points associated with old infrastructure.

The Role of Hyperconverged Infrastructure in IT Efficiency

Hyperconverged infrastructure minimizes your data center footprint. It does so by breaking down standard infrastructure stacks into scalable building components. These components include computation, storage, and networking. And because of the much smaller footprint, you can operate the same infrastructure at the edge that you use in your central data centers. The result is more efficiency with greater robustness and better performance.

To develop an agile data center that readily expands with your company, replace separate servers, storage networks, and storage arrays with a single hyperconverged infrastructure solution. Hyperconvergence infrastructure simplifies administration. It does so by allowing you to control all parts of your infrastructure from a single location. This lowers complexity by eliminating compatibility issues between numerous suppliers.

If resources become tight, contact your vendor, request more servers and software licenses, and install them with a few mouse clicks. The infrastructure should be almost invisible to application developers. They should not worry about the underlying infrastructure. Instead, they should concentrate on their workloads.

What a Hybrid Cloud Is

A hybrid cloud is a centralized, distributed computing system that combines on-premises, private, and public cloud infrastructure. It enables the management and coordination of conventional and cloud-native workloads across different components. This allows for the best resource utilization for each scenario.

You can form a hybrid multi-cloud by merging on-premises infrastructure with a single provider or multiple providers. This allows for the selection of the best cloud solution for each application and workload. This technique also helps find cost-effective and efficient cloud resources, increasing performance and lowering costs.

How a Hybrid Cloud Works

A single platform manages your multiple public and private cloud resources in a hybrid cloud deployment. When you manage each cloud environment individually, you are more likely to utilize duplicate procedures. This wastes time and resources. Moreover, separate administration of environments may increase the chance of a security flaw. This is particularly true if all solutions are not properly optimized to function together, such as they would be in a system that relies on hyperconverged infrastructure.

By limiting the exposure of private data to public cloud environments, hybrid cloud designs assist in reducing security threats. Private data centers, clouds, and public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platforms are common components of these designs. You connect to the hybrid cloud platform using a secure network that includes a local area network (LAN) and a wide area network (WAN).

When you use a hybrid cloud architecture, you can extend IaaS functionality to your private cloud. It would be best to guarantee that your private and public cloud environments are compatible. You may need to custom-build the private cloud to enhance compatibility and allow an efficient hybrid deployment.

APIs are provided by IaaS providers such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. These will assist you in connecting your private resources to public cloud infrastructure and enabling interoperability across cloud services. A hypervisor may also create virtual machines (VMs) and link them to the public cloud through a software layer that orchestrates the various cloud environments.


HCI As an Enabler for Private Cloud

Hyperconverged infrastructure, by definition, has several aspects that are well-suited to cloud computing. These aspects include easy policy-based administration, high degrees of task automation, resource pools, and scalability. Consequently, when regulatory compliance and commercial restrictions prevent public cloud utilization, it is employed for on-premises private cloud implementations.

Like public cloud-based services, HCI is designed for virtual workloads and provides consumption-based infrastructure economics and flexibility. It enables enterprises to rapidly expand their resources by adding HCI building pieces to react quickly to business demands, contributing to IT service agility.

Because the core cloud computing services, such as centralized, unified administration, computing, storage, and data security, are incorporated into the systems of hyperconverged infrastructure, they are an excellent starting point for developing a private cloud deployment. On the other hand, traditional designs make it considerably more difficult to fulfill the need for cloud computing since numerous service components must be integrated.

Compared to public cloud alternatives, HCI’s charge-back feature might be a more cost-effective choice for organizations that demand rapid deployment and quick access to resources. This allows for management to keep a closer eye on the total IT budget.

Like public cloud services, HCI allows corporate IT teams to start small and expand based on application needs. This offers them the agility that companies want from today’s IT solutions.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure: The Bigger Picture

Basically, HCI represents a conceptual change. That is, commercial software solutions based on unreliable software currently runs on reliable but costly hardware. But HCI offers an architecture based on reliable software operating on commodity hardware.

HCI provides efficiency and functionality that isolated and segregated components cannot. In a compartmentalized organization, for instance, the finance department covers credit and market concerns, while the security department addresses privacy threats. These different divisions impede communication and create a risk analysis gap. HCI can help avoid this by removing silos.

HCI also offers a single, automated, policy-driven approach to resource management across computer, storage, and network resources. This minimizes operating costs and enhances performance by allowing for speedier setup, simplifying lower management levels.

The Heading Mainstream of Hyperconverged Infrastructure

HCI has quickly evolved from an unknown technology to one of the most discussed technologies in IT. The need for next-generation applications, such as big data analytics and the cloud, drives the shift from hardware-centric integrated systems to converged systems and ultimately to hyperconverged software-defined infrastructures.

This perspective change has also given rise to the notion of the application-centric software-defined data center. Traditional computation and storage platforms are unsuitable for cloud and big data applications, which need flexible, scalable, and interoperable solutions.

IT infrastructure is essential for digital transformation, which is now necessary for businesses seeking a competitive edge. HCI allows enterprises to expand their independent computing and storage resources according to their business requirements, making it perfect for providing the agility necessary for digital efforts.


In Summary

Using hyperconverged infrastructure may make management easier, save costs, and boost efficiency while accelerating deployment and improving overall agility. However, corporate data center designs need to be reevaluated accordingly. For example, IT teams have become accustomed to dealing with data sprawl. This has resulted in the creation of data silos and disconnected IT isles. These teams therefore need to adopt a new, more streamlined way of thinking that includes HCI.