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September 2018, Vol. 17, No. 6

Definition of hyper-converged infrastructure evolves, as do products

The definition of hyper-converged infrastructure has always been a bit tricky. HCI consists of traditional IT resources -- storage, compute, virtualization and sometimes networking -- packaged and managed differently than people are used to seeing. Industry analysts came up with the term mainly to describe what Nutanix was doing in 2011 when it launched what an early customer called "a mini data center in a box." That led to ad hoc attempts to come up with a definition of hyper-converged infrastructure to fit this new IT category, as converged infrastructure also emerged around the same time. SearchConvergedInfrastructure defines hyper-convergence as "a software-centric architecture that tightly integrates compute, storage and virtualization resources in a single system that usually consists of x86 hardware. A hyper-converged system can also be sold as software that can be installed on a buyer's existing hardware or as hardware purchased specifically for the installation." So we have software-defined storage; commodity hardware;...

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