What Is Hyper-converged Infrastructure? | Parallels Explains

What IHyper-converged Infrastructure? 

Hyper-converged infrastructureHyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) combines computing, storage, and networking into a single system, reducing datacenter complexity while increasing scalability. HCI platforms include a hypervisor for virtualized computing, software-defined storage, and virtualized networking. They usually run on standard, off-the-shelf servers, which could be standalone or a node in a network. Multiple nodes can be grouped (clustered) together to create shared pools of computing and storage resources, designed for comfortable resource consumption. 

Benefits of a hyper-converged infrastructure 

The use of stock hardware (supported by a single vendor) creates an infrastructure that’s designed to be more flexible and straightforward to manage than traditional enterprise storage infrastructure. For IT managers who are migrating to data center modernization projects, a hyper-converged infrastructure can provide the agility of public cloud infrastructure without abandoning control of hardware on their premises.

HCI guarantees simplicity and flexibility compared to traditional/legacy solutions. The integrated servers, storage systems, and networking capabilities are designed to be managed as a single system across all cases of a hyper-converged infrastructure. The integrated management simplifies usage, while the software-defined storage provides greater scalability and efficient resource consumption.

Companies can start small and expand or reduce their resources as needed to allow for a flexible infrastructure—without expensive maintenance and upgrading costs. HCI vendors promote potential cost savings in areas like power-saving and space, IT labor, and avoidance of licensed software, such as backup or disaster recovery tools.

Hyper-converged vs. converged 

Both Hyper-converged and Converged Infrastructure (CI) share the same goals—overcoming the limitations and inefficiencies of siloed structures of traditional IT compute and storage. However, both HCI and CI achieves their results differently.

CI is hardware-based and creates a preconfigured package involving hardware and software from a single vendor. As such, compute, storage, and network functionalities remain independent of each other. When deployed this way, you can leverage individual components to achieve specific and separate purposes. You can also scale servers and storage independently.

On the other hand, HCI is software-defined, and collapses compute, storage, and networking into a highly virtualized environment, using the industry-standard x86 servers. This way, HCI adds more abstraction and flexibility since all its components are software-defined. In this regard, HCI is more agile and maneuverable than CI.

Most importantly, Hyper-converged Infrastructure is more scalable than Converged Infrastructure. You can easily replace or add drives in existing servers or scale out by adding new nodes to a cluster. This way, new nodes always come with computing functionalities, even if you only needed additional storage. As such, you’ll find it easier and faster when deploying HCI than CI.

Use cases of Hyper-converged Infrastructure

Technology is revolutionizing how businesses offer solutions to their customers, and Hyper-converged Infrastructure is at the core of this revolution. Here are a few uses of HCI in organizations:

VDI and DaaS

Before HCI was unveiled, most companies were struggling with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) deployments. This was due to architectural complexity and underperforming storage. By collapsing compute, storage, and networking into a single appliance, HCI significantly simplified VDI and DaaS deployments.

Migration to the cloud

In HCI environments, IT administrators can easily interact with private, public, or hybrid cloud via APIs that extend the datacenter. Leveraging HCI can help an organization to set up its long-term data retention plans for archival, backups, and disaster recovery via a seamless setup feature.

Remote working

Remote working is now a reality. As such, firms require an IT environment that supports off-premise computing and cloud environments. HCI is a perfect fit for such environments because you use software to manage the server, storage, and networking that are off-premise.

Testing and Development

Hyper-converged Infrastructure allows developers to access a productive programmable environment complete with development and testing workflows. As such, developers can easily create and destroy VMs via simple commands.

Scale Computing HC3 Support

hyper-converged infrastructureParallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) supports Scale Computing’s HC3, a solution that combines compute, storage, virtualization, backup, and disaster recovery in a single appliance. Scale Computing HC3 uses a KVM-based hypervisor, positioning itself as a cost-effective, easy-to-use hyper-converged solution—qualities that perfectly match those of Parallels RAS. This new capability essentially allows Parallels RAS to spin up and manage VMs through Scale Computing HC3 API. 

Parallels RAS and hyper-converged infrastructure

Parallels RAS can make use of any existing deployment, on-premises, or in the cloud, allowing for hyper-converged infrastructure. Leverage the optimum on-premises data management while experiencing the flexibility of publishing applications and desktops in the cloud. On the other hand, if you want to migrate your datacenter fully to the cloud, Parallels RAS can assist in delivering your resources to the cloud from on-premises deployments.  

Download your 30-day evaluation period of Parallels RAS today and get your hyper-converged infrastructure going! 

References: 

Networkworld | https://www.networkworld.com/article/3207567/what-is-hyperconvergence.html 

TechTarget | https://searchconvergedinfrastructure.techtarget.com/definition/hyper-convergence 

Nutanix | https://www.nutanix.com/hyperconverged-infrastructure/ 

ZDNet | https://www.zdnet.com/article/what-hyperconvergence-is-how-it-works-and-why-it-matters/ 

Webopedia | https://www.webopedia.com/TERM/H/hyper-converged-infrastructure.html

Parallels RAS deployments | https://www.parallels.com/products/ras/resources/cloud-deployment-models/