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What hyper-converged architecture features are most important?

When evaluating your options for a hyper-converged architecture, simplicity, resilience and scalability are some factors that should top your shopping list.

One of the first things to consider when evaluating a hyper-converged architecture is scalability. You should be able to expand the scale of your new hyper-converged deployment simply by adding another node. The underlying software should be smart enough to automatically distribute the virtual server workload across all the nodes in the cluster without an administrator having to perform manual load balancing. Likewise, the new node should provide a linear performance gain.

Your hyper-converged architecture should be simple. While that probably sounds cliché, you don't want to spend countless hours on the phone with technical support. The initial configuration process should be largely automated, as should the process of bringing new nodes online. Likewise, the management software should be pre-installed.

A hyper-converged system should also have storage resiliency that is available at other levels. For example, hyper-converged systems are dependent on software that ties the various components together, so there can't be any single points of failure. There are various ways to make a hyper-converged architecture resilient. VMware, for example, runs the software within a virtual appliance that can fail over to another node if necessary.

One pixel Hyper-converged simplicity comes
with proprietary downsides

Most vendors that sell hyper-converged architecture products offer several different SKUs, so ask for a sizing guide to see what each model can handle. For example, a low-end model might manage up to 10 general-purpose virtual servers while another can handle 100. You usually can't add hardware to a hyper-converged system without plugging in an entirely new node, so it is extremely important to correctly anticipate your needs prior to making a purchase.

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