At one time, traditional IT infrastructure was made up of silos. This included separate hardware systems and individual experts working in storage, systems administration, networking, and software.
But virtualisation has become the dominant technology that now links these silos. Each of those networks and servers are now completely integrated so they can work seamlessly together.
However, there are two distinct ways that can happen - converged or hyper-converged infrastructure.
Converged Infrastructure (CI) refers to the convergence of storage, computational, and networking infrastructure in a data center. It allows for the creation of a platform for modular deployment of data center resources that can provide enterprise with scaling and stability benefits.
In the converged infrastructure approach, the hardware you get is pre-configured to run the type of workload you select for it such as a database or a specific application. This means it prevents companies from needing to make large investments in physical space for various kinds of hardware.
The main benefit of having a simplified deployment infrastructure is that the preset modular configurations provide great speed and agility boosts when deploying new services. The other major benefit is that validating configurations reduces guesswork and provides templates for new application instances. Costs can be lowered by reducing hours for repetitive installation tasks and system testing.
With this approach, software controls all of the resources. Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is similar to CI in that it amalgamates the same variety of IT infrastructure components. But with HCI, the infrastructure is delivered from one vendor by means of software. The software includes a single dashboard where you can manage and deploy your entire IT framework.
Because HCI is software-defined, the infrastructure operations are separated from the physical hardware and the integration between components is tighter than with CI. This makes HCI suitable for a larger range of workloads because the infrastructure can be defined and configured at software level and manipulated to work for specialised workloads or applications.
Here is a rundown of the major differences between the two approaches:
Ultimately, there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches and the best option will depend on the size and nature of your business. While larger organisations can generally benefit from the lower costs of a CI system, smaller enterprises can also make cost savings with HCI by eliminating the need for costly hardware.
Therefore, when deciding which approach to use its important to consider what the greater goals and near term future of the business are. For more information on which infrastructure type might be best for your business, talk to the IT experts at FinXL.