Hyper-converged infrastructure, although still an evolving technology, has been receiving increasing attention as a technology that can simplify the architecture of virtual environments at a low cost.
Products that fall under the hyper-converged category integrate compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources that have been preconfigured to work together. These products often include additional storage features such as deduplication or compression, as well as management functionality.
An early player on the hyper-converged scene was Nutanix, which recently added data deduplication for data on hard disk drives to its Virtual Computing Platform to align more closely with one of its biggest competitors, SimpliVity. Also making headlines is VMware, which this year released VSAN, a software option that pools capacity and compute from servers in a vSphere environment; early feedback shows customers view it as a viable hyper-converged infrastructure option. Meanwhile, established hyper-converged vendors are adding support for additional hypervisors, which could lead to broader adoption.
This guide will explain what's driving the "hype" in hyper-convergence, how the technology can benefit a virtual environment and what products are available today.
Hyper-convergence grows from virtualization
Some analysts argue that hyper-convergence is a product of converged architectures. They became hyper-converged once vendors began designing them with virtualization in mind, adding management layers and storage features. As these products are upgraded and new ones enter the playing field, it can be hard to differentiate a hyper-converged infrastructure from other evolving storage technologies. The following links provide a timeline as to how hyper-converged storage took root, and where it's grown to today.
Convergence -- the bundling of storage, compute, network and virtualization -- is evolving with new products that redefine ease of use. Continue Reading
Nutanix's CEO explains how converged storage will make the SAN obsolete and discusses whether there's a threat from VMware's VSAN storage virtualization plans. Continue Reading
Virtual machine (VM)-aware and hyper-converged systems for VM storage mainly support VMware now, but wider support for other hypervisors is coming. Continue Reading
Hyper-convergence can reduce operating expenses, so it's important to improve your administration skills to stay relevant. Continue Reading
It's hard to keep an eye on where storage is headed these days, according to Rich Castagna. Continue Reading
Considerations for your hyper-converged storage environment
The first reason a hyper-converged infrastructure might appeal to storage professionals is the convenience -- there's very little configuration that needs to be completed, and commodity hardware often puts it at a lower price point. But different products support different hypervisors, and feature sets may vary.
Hyper-converged offerings are gaining ground, but what's true hyper-convergence? What problems does it solve? Continue Reading
Hyper-converged storage/compute, such as IBM's modular xSeries, poses a threat to standalone SAN/NAS in the data center. Continue Reading
Hyper-converged storage products are expanding from Nutanix, Scale Computing and SimpliVity to include VMware's VSAN. Continue Reading
Find out how a California school district was able to simplify management in its VMware environment while keeping costs low with converged storage. Continue Reading
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Hyper-converged options available today
It started with just a few hyper-converged products, but more vendors have been offering technologies that fall in this category, though they may differ from the original infrastructure-in-a-box architectures. Maxta announced a software-only version in November 2013, similar to VMware's VSAN, while Atlantis delivered a hyper-converged option a few months later in February 2014. These links will provide you with the information you need regarding some of the prominent products on the market today and their feature sets.
A year after coming out of stealth with its hyper-converged OmniCube, SimpliVity releases smaller and larger systems for different markets. Continue Reading
Nutanix brings out two new versions of its converged storage systems: one for remote offices, and a data center version that makes it easier to scale and compute independently. Continue Reading
Atlantis ILIO USX takes the startup beyond a virtual desktop infrastructure and into hyper-converged storage with the ability to use inline memory to pool data center resources. Continue Reading
The VSAN beta appeals to customers who like having their storage, compute and hypervisor in one box, supported by one vendor. Continue Reading