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How Hyper-convergence Is Changing The Data Center

Hyper-Convergence has clearly moved beyond the initial hype circle as we are seeing an increasing number of organizations placing their mission-critical and customer-facing applications and workloads in the HCI environment

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A software-centric architecture, greater flexibility and ease of management make it one of the most preferred technologies in the data center space.

The last few years saw cloud and software-defined everything emerging as the strongest pacesetters in the data center market, by transforming our traditional approach to IT infrastructure. The push towards cloud and software-defined architectures is now paving way for another revolution in the data center space-the Hyper-Convergence.

Imagine an IT infrastructure which integrates compute, storage and networking, along with all the virtualization resources on a commodity hardware-- all managed and supported by a single vendor. That's exactly what Hyper-convergence promises. It offers more efficiency, reliability and simplicity to the data centers.

Hyper-Convergence Infrastructure (HCI) is in every CIO's wish list. According to a recent survey by Gartner, the market for Hyper Converged Integrated Systems (HCIS) will grow 79 percent to reach almost $2 billion in 2016, propelling it toward mainstream use in the next five years. HCIS will be the fastest-growing segment of the overall market for integrated systems, reaching almost $5 billion, which is 24 percent of the market, by 2019.

Why Hyper-Convergence
Converged infrastructure as a concept has been around since late 2000's. Organizations very quickly adopted converged solutions, which brought together the basic data center components onto a pre-packaged and pre-certified box, supported by a single vendor. However, as organizations started looking for 'on-demand' scalability and performance, converged solutions fell short of their expectations. Hyper-convergence thus became the need of the hour for many organizations as their requirements shot up.

Some of key benefits of adopting hyper-convergence infrastructure include:

" Scalability: As the workload increases, the computer networking and storage demands can be quickly met at any time, when required. Once the solution is deployed, it can be extended across the enterprise with ease to scale in or out the resources.

" Resiliency: Offers the utmost availability of data with high fault tolerance, so that you never lose any data in case of a drive, nodes or network failure.

" Simplicity: It removes all the complications that are in the traditional architecture and provides self-optimising, self-monitoring, and self-healing features to the customer.

" Cost efficiency: Hyper-Convergence provides significant budgetary benefits and brings a highly flexible economic model to any IT department. When there is a need for more capacity, you can quickly convert your needs to functionality without going for the procurement process.

" Single-vendor support model: A single vendor design, deliveries, and support are the unique benefits of HCI; as a result, customers get one point of contact from initial enquiry to system stand-down

" Mobility: Hyper- Convergence ensures secure mobility and allows organisations to provide greater mobility to mobile workforce and applications.

" Performance: It provides the user an easier and smarter way to access the virtual capabilities from any location as long as it is connected to the network in a secure and protected environment.

The Bottom Line
Hyper-Convergence has clearly moved beyond the initial hype circle as we are seeing an increasing number of organizations placing their mission-critical and customer-facing applications and workloads in the HCI environment. The confidence among CIOs towards HCI has witnessed a visible boost in the last one year, and some of the concerns around vendor lock-in and lack of a mature model have gradually diminished.

The reason isn't different for the increased adoption of this technology in industry verticals such as healthcare, finance and government sectors. Organizations that are skeptical about whether HCI will call for an overhaul or replacement of the existing systems, realize that it can address such challenges more efficiently by providing a flexible environment that can improve and even blend into the present IT infrastructure.

Moreover, HCI has become an inevitable milestone for organizations during their journey to true Infrastructure-as-a-service or software-defined data centers, by providing the kind of elasticity, resource-pooling and on-demand services that the CIOs strive to achieve.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Anoop Pai Dhungat

The author is Chairman & Managing Director at Galaxy Office Automation

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