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The hyper-converged software typically provides centralized management of all resources in an environment. It eliminates the need to provision storage as would be done in a traditional virtualized server environment. Additional management features are often included as well, such as thin provisioning, deduplication and replication.
Hyper-converged software usually ships already on an appliance. Vendors such as Nutanix and SimpliVity sell appliances running their software but also make their software available for hardware partners through OEM deals or reference architectures. Others, such as VMware with Virtual SAN (VSAN) and Maxta Software with MxSP do not sell appliances, relying on partners to integrate software and servers in pre-tested bundles.