How the Future of IT Could Be Hyperconvergence

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We’re beginning to enter a new era of information technology (IT). Thanks to increased computing power, more diverse connections between devices (with systems like the Internet-of-Things), and greater demand for technologically sophisticated systems, the power of “converged” systems is becoming more feasible as a practical, universal solution.

The idea behind convergence is to bring multiple systems together under one, collective umbrella, increasing efficiency and the ease of managing those systems. Now, a new concept – hyperconvergence – could be making the data management and systems management process even more practical and accessible.

Traditional IT, Convergence, and Hyperconvergence

Traditional IT infrastructures existed in isolated silos, each serving a different niche need. For example, networking, storage, software, and systems administration were all separate areas with separate demands. Over the past 10 years or so, this approach has become inefficient; the increased demand and prevalence of data, not to mention improvements in technological sophistication has rendered this system more or less obsolete.

Convergence is the process of taking these discrete units and tying them together in some functional way; for example, you can tie these isolated silos to the same resources, forcing them to work together. However, they’re still functional as independent units, and can be broken out from the core system. A layer of virtualization allows for their collaborative performance. In hyperconvergence, this ability is suspended, as all these separate IT functions are drawn together in the same software.

hyperconvergence.
Hyperconvergence

The Advantages of Hyperconvergence

So why is hyperconvergence the future of IT, if convergence is already doing an effective job of better managing resources and bringing systems together? There are a handful of advantages to the approach that make it so promising:

  • Shorter set-up times. Depending on the unique characteristics of your specific setup, it could take up to 100 hours less to set up a hyperconverged system.
  • Less ongoing management. Generally speaking, hyperconverged systems will require less ongoing management, taking several hours less per month in ongoing labor costs.
  • Easier data handling. Companies are relying on more data than ever to drive their businesses forward, and hyperconvergence is the best way to handle that influx of data.
  • Scalability. Hyperconverged systems are more tightly connected and more efficient, which means it’s easier to grow them over time as your needs expand, carrying those efficiency benefits forward.

An Example

Imagine that a company is trying to establish a new server or desktop virtualization. In the traditional IT approach, the physical servers would run on an independent virtualization hypervisor, with data storage provided by direct access storage, network attached storage, or a SAN (storage area network). By contrast, in a converged setup, that storage would work directly in conjunction with the physical serves, such as through Flash storage. In the hyperconvergence model, the storage controller function will operate on each node in the cluster.

Growing Demands

Another factor pressuring the emergence and adoption of hyperconvergence in the IT world is the general trend of increasing technological demands. Already, according to The Glimpse, companies are forced to adopt new standards and new goals for collecting and utilizing data, but those needs are only going to grow as time goes on. Hyperconvergence’s overall scalability makes it an ideal solution for this trend.

If your company is working on creating a new server or desktop virtualization, or if your IT systems are in need of an overhaul, hyperconvergence is a wiser, more cost-efficient, more future-focused approach. The closer you can bring your independent systems together, the more time and resources you can save while maximizing your overall performance.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.