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An HCI infrastructure combines compute, storage, and networking elements in one system optimized to provide applications with the resources they need to run faster and more reliably than on their own. Choosing the right HCI platform, however, can be difficult with so many options on the market, each with its strengths and weaknesses. When you’re in the market for a new HCI infrastructure, these eight pillars of a successful hyper-converged infrastructure will guide you toward making an informed decision that will maximize your efficiency and productivity in no time.
1. Consolidation of Server Infrastructure
Consolidation of server infrastructure through cloud-centricity is an architectural pillar that provides the foundational framework for leveraging the benefits of hyper-convergence. Such a properly architecture hyperconverged infrastructure can provide centralized management across your applications and data and enable you to simplify operations while reducing operational expenses by as much as 50%.
With cloud-centricity, your infrastructure can now be fully scalable and elastic. You’ll never have to worry about procurement costs or human error again. Hyperconvergence has evolved from an expensive niche product for the most data-intensive workloads to an enterprise-ready IT platform. With hyper-convergence, your infrastructure is always up to date, and you never have to worry about outages because of vendor constraints.
2. Automated Management
One of the significant drivers of hyper-convergence is automated management. In the past, IT staff had to manually set up and maintain individual servers, storage devices, and switches. With hyper-convergence, this time-consuming process is gone, and now you can configure an entire datacenter with just one click. Similarly, deploying new services and patches is fast because there are no separate systems to update. If you patch any component, it automatically updates all other components.
Administrators also have access to centralized tools for managing their environment and built-in analytics to help them monitor performance. Most experienced hyperconverged infrastructure vendors like Sangfor Technologies have added additional features to automate management, such as monitoring resource utilization and automatically deploying new patches. Self-service portals give administrators access to deep analytics about performance, which helps them quickly identify and address issues.
3. Minimizing Data Silos
For organizations using on-premises infrastructure, storage silos can result in wasted space and inconsistencies across the network. Integrating storage silos is crucial to creating a reliable, efficient hyperconverged infrastructure and will free up valuable physical space for other IT needs. If a company has multiple data centers spread worldwide, virtualizing its storage ensures no data discrepancies between locations.
With fewer variables to worry about, it becomes easier to troubleshoot when something goes wrong with your IT system. Consequently, it eliminates as many sources of complication as possible by utilizing one integrated solution, thus reducing errors and simplifying administration, which saves time and money.
4. A Single Layer of Abstraction Automation
The most crucial aspect of hyper-convergence is the abstraction layer. Abstraction means automation, as in automating hardware resources and allocating them to various virtualized computing environments (e.g., containers, VMs, etc.). One of the benefits of abstraction layers is that they eliminate the need for physical machines with their own operating systems and configurations.
For example, suppose you have five servers, each running a different application or workload—such as Salesforce, Exchange Server, SQL Server, and Drupal 8. Then, you can configure your abstraction layer to allow two servers to run Salesforce while three are for Exchange Server. That way, when it comes time to make updates or patches, one server can remain online while you simultaneously update the other four. By contrast, these applications would require manual provisioning across five separate physical servers without an abstraction layer.
5. Ease of Deployment
Ease of deployment is one of the most significant pain points for new IT administrators. Vendors like Sangfor Technologies invest in easy solutions and frameworks to help get your HCI solution up and running. With dynamic pooling capabilities and enhanced VM protection, you can start small, migrate your workloads as necessary, and be ready for scale anytime. There’s no need to worry about having an extensive infrastructure or a huge budget.
Competent HCI vendors make it simple with no downtime and minimal effort on the end user’s part. They will fully manage your environment, so you won’t have to work a single node, hard drive, or switch. You’ll also never have to deal with an outage because all the data center components will automatically failover to another server if anything goes wrong.
6. Consistent Reliability
Consistent reliability is one of the pillars separating hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions from other offerings. To ensure this, have both software and hardware stability. The software should be designed for continual updates and improvements while keeping an eye on quality assurance testing.
A reliable hyperconverged infrastructure vendor like Sangfor Technologies will keep up with their software upgrades, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on performance enhancements or security patches. Hardware should also be easy to access and maintain without requiring specialized knowledge or certification to make any necessary repairs.
7. Data Protection and Disaster Recovery
Deploying different data protection methods can ensure your company’s sensitive data is safe. Hyperconverged infrastructure deploys various data protection and disaster recovery strategies, such as replication, remote mirroring, and snapshots. That way, clients can feel confident that their data will be available when necessary, no matter what happens to the underlying storage. In case of any threats like a power outage or hacking attack, hyper-converged infrastructures help maintain business continuity.
Using disaster recovery tools is crucial to protect data from loss or corruption. These tools can create a complete replica of your immediate environment and allow for a seamless transition to it in case of failure. Typically, these environments will have hardware and connectivity to avoid problems transferring workloads from one site to another.
Hyperconverged infrastructure vendors are offering innovations and new options for businesses. The HCI landscape offers apparent benefits that make it a worthwhile choice. HCI has helped companies become more productive with IT by simplifying management, hardware, software, and data storage and providing reliable data protection solutions. Companies of all sizes are starting to adopt HCI as technology evolves exponentially. However, working with a competent hyper-converged infrastructure vendor like Sangfor Technologies is key to maximizing your ROI.