For years, the complexity of managing corporate IT infrastructure was an accepted aspect of enterprise IT. To combat the issue on a superficial level, organizations hired a variety of IT professionals, each with expertise in one data center component. These IT teams would collaborate, constantly updating, fine-tuning and managing corporate data centers in order to keep companies running. However, as businesses continue to adopt cutting-edge solutions to common problems via the cloud and virtualization, complexity increases alongside the cost of maintaining and supporting corporate systems.
To challenge data center complexity head on, tech leaders – everyone from IBM and VMware to HP and Microsoft – introduced enterprise IT to converged systems and their partner in crime, hyper-converged infrastructure. Now, this approach to data center technology is catching on, with 24 percent of organizations already having one of these systems in place, according to ActualTech Media. Despite the popularity of the technology, many professionals lack an understanding of how these systems differ from other data center solutions, let alone the the reason behind implementation, so let’s take a look at hyper-converged infrastructure and how enterprise IT could change as a result of adoption.
“24% of organizations have a hyper-converged infrastructure solution.
What is hyper-converged infrastructure?
In a nutshell, hyper-converged infrastructure is pre-packaged hardware and software for data center technologies. These systems are software-defined and based on commodity x86 components, including compute, storage and often networking. Procured as a bundle with an attached hypervisor, hyper-converged appliances are the building blocks of a data center.
ActualTech Media defined hyper-converged systems as “virtual computing infrastructure” designed to accelerate the deployment of virtualized workloads, reduce data center complexity, lower total cost of ownership and improve operations and efficiency. Supporting automation and acting as a single tool for resource management, hyper-converged infrastructure is a complete package. Businesses can deploy these systems in minutes and not worry at all about integration between components. They are a bit like the video game console of enterprise, allowing IT pros to take advantage of cutting-edge software and services without building a machine with exact specifications.
What does hyper-converged technology mean for IT pros?
Hyper-converged infrastructure has the ability to completely alter the course of enterprise IT, putting virtualization capabilities within every organization’s reach. These systems will also change the role of the IT professional, as instead of managing specific components, employees will need to understand storage, computing and networking on a fundamental level in order to maintain the infrastructure.
As TechTarget explained, the consolidation of management is a positive impact of hyper-converged technology. Teams and professionals no longer need to pass projects between them, but rather, one IT pro can handle all components of the data center through a single interface. Hyper-converged systems can also make development easier, as system specifications become standardized across data centers with IT departments just using different building blocks instead of creating infrastructure from scratch.
An annular industry
Hyper-converged infrastructure is a logical step forward in technology, according to ComputerWorld contributor Chris Poelker. He explained that centralized compute models are nothing new and represent the cyclical nature of IT. Poelker also asserted that converged systems just couldn’t catch on due to cost.
Nowadays, however, hyper-converged offerings solve the challenge of expense, delivering data center functionality in a compact and cost-efficient package. This gives the technology a chance at succeeding in becoming ubiquitous. Then, factor in the perceived skills gap and complexity of the cloud, and hyper-converged infrastructure seems like the golden ticket.
At the end of the day, technology transforms business, but nothing has changed enterprise IT in a while. Hyper-converged infrastructure could be the perfect remedy for consolidation, constant maintenance and virtualization capabilities, but first, IT pros must hop on the bandwagon.