What is Hyper Converged Architecture?

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I have been part of the "Hyper-Converged" Architecture marketplace for about 1 year now.  Many customers I have talked to have not heard the term "Hyper-Converged" before, so I thought I would define and describe it.

 

A bit of a history lesson - First came Virtual Systems with the advent of VMWare.  This was a very cool and money saving thing.  Now companies could separate the operating system from the hardware running it.

 

Next SAN architecture was introduced and used in the Virtual environment to store and run the Virtual Server environments.  This allowed for better Disaster Recovery of systems, and further divorced the operating system from hardware on a physical server.

 

The term “Convergence” was created to describe the pre-integration of all the hardware and software components required to deploy a virtualized server infrastructure into a data center. Servers, hyper-visor software, storage and networking were all pre-installed by the supplier/manufacturer prior to shipment, configured inside a rack and shrink-wrapped. Upon receiving the equipment, the customer merely had to install, power on the unit, assign IP addresses then provision VM's.

Converged Infrastructure
Converged Infrastructure

 

The "Converged" architecture was still very complex.  There were the Servers, SANs, Fiber Channel Switches, Ethernet Switches, Replication, WAN optimizers, etc, etc.  This complexity still exists today in most corporate environments.

 

A few companies looked that the complexity of the environment and proposed a simpler, sleeker, easier to use model.  The term "Hyper-Converged" was created and refers to a single node or block that does Compute, De-duplication, Compression, Management and Storage all in one simple form factor.   The collapsing of hardware into single physical blocks.  The vendors then focus on the Virtual Machine as the main entity.

 

The focus on the Virtual Machine means that much of the complexity of managing a data center is eliminated.  Gone are the need to know what a LUN is, how to setup SAN switches, how to balance a system with high IO with one that has high storage capacity.   The management of these tasks are done by the system and a Virtual Systems Engineer can focus on what is important -- making sure the infrastructure matches what the business needs.

 

DeltaWare sells the two major Vendors that are considered "Hyper-Converged", contact us for more details at Sales@dwdsinc.com.

 

SimpliVity Corporation has a neat video that describes the sprawl of traditional virtual infrastructure.

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