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Top 5 Benefits of Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Level 11

Hyperconverged infrastructure is adopted more and more every year by companies both big and small. For small- to medium-businesses (SMBs) and remote branch type companies, HCI provides an all-in-one solution to eliminate the need to have power, space, and cooling for multiple different systems. For bigger companies at the enterprise level and below, HCI gives them a flexible means of scaling out as the workload demand increases. There are many other benefits to adopting a hyperconverged approach to data center infrastructure. Here are what I consider the top five.

Flexible Scalability

The most attractive benefit of HCI is the ability to scale out your environment as your workload demand increases. Every application or data center has different workloads. Some demand a lot of resources while others don’t need as much. In the case of HCI, as workload demands increase, there’s no need to do a forklift upgrade. You simply add a new node or block to your current infrastructure and configure it as needed.

A Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) isn’t usually something the IT community really cares about. Generally, we’re given what we get, and we have to make it work effectively. Decision makers find TCO extremely important, and this metric plays a major role in the procurement process. TCO is good for both the decision makers and the engineers in the trenches. On one hand, the decision makers see a lower cost solution overall, and the engineers get to work with equipment and software that isn’t completely budget-restrained. Time to market is much quicker, less administrative staff is required, and there are cost savings when it comes to power, space, and cooling.

Less Administrative Overhead

When there’s less to manage, there’s less administrative overhead. Lowering administrative overhead doesn’t necessarily mean cutting down your staff, it means making your staff more effective with less work. In a traditional data center infrastructure, there are many moving parts, which requires many different teams or silos. Consolidating all the moving parts into one chassis cuts down on administrative overhead and segregated teams.

Avoid Overprovisioning

HCI essentially eliminates the possibility of overprovisioning. Traditional infrastructures require a big purchase upfront, which is based off an analyst’s projections for the workload three to five years out. Most of those workload projections end up being too generous and the organization is left with expensive hardware that never gets near capacity usage. HCI allows you to buy only what you currently need, with maybe a 15% buffer, and then as the workload increases, you can flexibly scale out to meet the increase. By eliminating the need for workload projection and large upfront hardware/software purchases, TCO decreases and flexibility increases.

Takes the Complexity Out of New Deployments

Traditional infrastructure deployments can be a very complex process. As discussed earlier, the workload projections move forward to procurement of hardware and software, which then need to be racked and stacked, cabled, and configured. This deployment approach requires multiple people, server lifts, and rack space. HCI deployments make it easier for less experienced administrators to unbox rack and configure an entire deployment. In the case of scaling, the same deployment model exists… unbox and bolt on a new block and configure it. There’s no need for the storage team to provision new storage, or the networking team to add more cables. It’s an all-in-one solution and simple to deploy.

There are numerous benefits to adopting HCI over traditional infrastructure. I’ve only listed five, which barely scratch the surface. For the benefit of those of us who haven’t deployed HCI before, what are some benefits you’ve realized by your deployment, but aren’t on this list?

Level 14

Thanks for the article!  Good advice. 

Level 9

I like the idea of HCI. It can be like little datacenters - HCI for each division or dev/test environment, etc.

There are even some that are certified by Oracle for VMware

Level 20

All these are true but once again this is really just a way to make it easier for users to purchase and manage a virtualized infrastructure.  Many, like us, build our own.


Thanks for the article!

Level 13

Thanks for the Article

Level 12

I learn something new everyday, and it is usually from Thwack.

Level 14

Turns out I've been doing this for years.  Buy some servers with no disks, some memory and CPU cores.  Run VMWare from SD cards and stick a SAN / NAS in.  If I need more compute I can add extra CPUs or extra servers.  If I need more memory I can add it to existing hosts or add new servers.  If I need more disks I can add more SAN / NAS.  Et Voila  -  HCI but a lot cheaper than stuff marketed as HCI.

Level 12

Thank you for the overview. I need to look for more detailed information after reading this.

Are we sad that we  can't use "converged" instead of "hyper-converged" yet?

Let converged's old methods fall into obsolescence and hyper-converged's new methods become the new standard.

Yeah, it's only semantics.   Like "I oriented myself." instead of "I made sure I was orientated."  One is efficient, the other is bloated invent-ware to help people feel like their efforts are larger and more important.

Hyper converged is just converged.


Awesome info - I have added this to some cool documentation that I am perpetually gather in order to better explain technology to management.  I have absolutely all aspects of our environment virtualized..I would like to consider it to be a very smart HCI;  unbelievable easy to manager and adapt to the "lack of poor planning that folks sometimes do".... they think that this is really cool.. until I come and ask for additional resources... I planed for growth .. made it the 3 years we planned.. and now we need to renegotiate .. I need GREAT information  gregwstuart​ to continue my plight!!! Thanks for taking the time to share your experience!  I have masted being a master!! I rely upon much smarter folks than myself!  Your support to the community is greatly appreciated!