Find the HCI appliance that meets your storage needs

Last updated:November 2016

Editor's note

Migrating to a hyper-converged infrastructure is no small investment. Infrastructure and operational professionals must carefully consider a number of factors before implementing the technology.

Hyper-converged storage is one of the most prominent changes to data center design to occur over the past 10 years. A hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) appliance unites storage, compute and networking in one modular system. Despite the apparent financial and technical rigidity that generally coincides with the use of a one-size-fits-all approach, an HCI appliance can have a number of cost-saving and business benefits over a custom data center architecture.

First, many hyper-converged storage systems come with their own software, which enables IT administrators to more easily manage virtualized infrastructures. Additionally, there are strong business cases for switching to a hyper-converged infrastructure, such as the total cost. An HCI appliance often has lower total costs of ownership because the most common alternative to hyper-convergence is a total migration to the cloud. Such a move could cost an organization a significant amount in terms of both Capex and Opex. But HCI appliances allow greater financial and technical flexibility and scaling. With hyper-convergence, admins can simply add and remove nodes as necessary, whereas hosted customers may have to migrate to another cloud if their current service provider cannot support their planned expansion.

There are key questions buyers must ask when they look at an HCI appliance: How many appliances does a business need, and which ones work within specific IT environments? How does such a product scale out? How easy is it for admins to implement? Answering these and other questions helps infrastructure and operations pros begin to select the right hyper-converged storage products for their enterprise. So does comparing the top HCI appliances and software.

1What can a hyper-converged infrastructure do for your business?

There are many benefits of implementing a hyper-converged storage strategy in the data center. From ease of deployment and scaling, to the simplification of management, hyper-converged technology can bring many cost- and time-saving benefits to an organization.

2Questions to ask when selecting a hyper-converged storage vendor

Making the best IT purchasing decision for businesses starts with asking the right questions. There are eight questions every infrastructure or operations professional should ask themselves or a vendor before deciding which kind of hyper-converged technology to purchase for their business.

3Finding the right hyper-converged storage technology for you

Part four of this buyer's guide breaks down the top hyper-converged products in the market today, categorizing them from the simple to the complex and defining the overhead and efficiency of each. See where different hyper-converged vendors fall in the ranges of cost-efficiency and scalability.

4Examining the top HCI appliances and software

See how HCI appliances and software vendors stack up against each other with these hyper-converged product overviews.