Hyperconvergence is a software-centric architecture that tightly integrates compute, storage and virtualization resources in a single system. A hyper-converged system allows the integrated technologies to be managed as a single system through a common tool set. Most hyper-converged systems require a minimum of three hardware nodes for high availability and can be expanded through the addition of nodes to the base unit. A grouping of these nodes is known as a cluster.
The benefits of using hyperconverged solutions are:
- Optimized infrastructure costs, especially at small scale – by merging compute and storage in one, an HCI solution can reduce initial footprint and investment of your new private or public cloud. The hyperconverged cloud reduces the need for expensive, specialized staff, because it is relatively easier to run, compared to managing many different IT components.
- Simplified management – HCI solutions usually provide a simple interface to run workloads on VM/application level, so it is easier for your staff to manage. Especially if you do not have a sizable team of dedicated system administrators or infrastructure engineers.
- Simplified hardware selection and upgrades – hyperconverged solutions come in pre-defined packages, so you simply buy and run them. By using identical building blocks, HCI solutions are usually quite straight-forward to scale too.
- Simple Scalability – scale compute and storage together. Capacity and performance can be scaled by adding a new server/node to the cluster. Each VM can be scaled up to very large CPU, RAM and storage size and performance. The disadvantage here is that in most cases all components scale together, thus you cannot scale storage apart from compute or vice-versa.
- Good overall performance – A well-designed hyper-converged infrastructure has a lot of performance available to be shared by all applications. As a relatively new concept, HCI solutions utilize fast CPUs and SSD/NVMe storage devices, which are just fast. In the hyperconverged concept, there is usually a fast tier of storage, assisting computing, so all applications benefit.