Examining Hyper Convergence Technology Use-Cases and Impacts on Your Data Center11 min read

by | Jul 13, 2016 | Blog

Today, hyper-convergence allows you to utilize heterogeneous hardware systems, coupled with different hypervisors – all to deliver dynamic resources to a variety of points. Moving forward – your business will continue to depend more and more on your underlying data center. Keeping your infrastructure agile will also help you keep your competitive edge. It’s really no wonder why converged and integrated systems have been gaining so much popularity.

According to IDC, the worldwide converged systems market increased revenue 8.5% year over year to $3.1 billion during the fourth quarter of 2015 (4Q15). The market generated 1,547 petabytes of new storage capacity shipments during the quarter, which was up 26.9% compared to the same period a year ago. For the full year of 2015, worldwide converged systems market revenue increased 8.3% to $10.6 billion when compared to 2014.

“We are seeing some of the market demand move into deals with lower Average Selling Prices (ASPs), which is driving a shift from traditional converged systems to hyperconverged systems,” said Kevin M. Permenter, Senior Research Analyst, Enterprise Servers. “Right now, most of the growth is coming from the mid-market, which is heavily skewed toward hyperconverged systems. We are expecting to see this trend continue into the near term.”

These kinds of solutions are specifically targeted at organizations with virtual desktop infrastructures, software-defined storage deployments, dev/test, private cloud and big data environments.

There are a lot of use-cases that are really driving the adoption of converged and hyper-converged systems. For example:

  • Big Data. With so much data being created, there is a direct need to better control storage and space requirements. Hyper-convergence allows you to aggregate a variety of storage resources and point them to appropriate workloads. Whether it’s an all-flash storage repository or a hybrid array – you can control where workloads like big data sets can live. Furthermore, you can optimize these workloads with direct visibility into data flow.
  • Public and Private Cloud. As mentioned earlier, one of the fastest growing areas in technology today is the hybrid cloud. So, it goes without saying that your ecosystem must be able to scale directly into the cloud. Hyper-converged systems utilize REST APIs to integrate with platforms like OpenStack to create a truly scalable, hybrid cloud, architecture.
  • App Containerization/Virtualization. Not only are you creating an intelligent hyper-converged platform, you’re also integrating powerful API options directly into the software layer. Application deployment into the cloud becomes a lot simpler when you begin to include support for AWS commands, Docker and OpenStack APIs.
  • The Software-Defined Data Center. The future of the data center model revolves around a fluid architecture capable of advanced resource controls. Hyper-convergence introduces a new kind of software intelligence which helps abstract resources and creates new kinds of efficiencies. These software controls allow you to scale beyond your own data center walls. In fact, hyper-convergence creates a next-generation data center model without boundaries. The result is an infrastructure that is fully automated and controllable through orchestration software or directly by developers; an infrastructure that supports the Open Source community and leverages solutions like Linux, OpenStack, Docker, KVM, ZFS and Consul.

Through it all – you’re creating a powerful architecture using hyper-convergence which helps reduce resource silos within your entire data center. By controlling all of your resources, reducing data center space and expanding into the cloud – you begin to see real cost savings around both CAPEX and OPEX spending. Why? You’ll no longer have lost resources. Remember, the intelligence is built into the software. At that logical layer, you have complete control over all data center computer, network and storage resources. The big differentiator is that now you can scale these resources across distributed data centers; and across your cloud.

How Converged Systems Impact the Cloud and Your Data Center

It’s important to see that next-generation data center systems will also require new ways to control critical data center resources. Specifically, legacy environmental controls may no longer be able to keep up with new data center systems being deployed. Specifically, in using converged and hyper-converged architectures, we’re redefining how we require cooling, power, and airflow specifications. Outside of discussing new ways to control aisle airflow and cooling – let’s look at the bigger pictures.

There are powerful systems which can be integrated into the converged infrastructure ecosystem to take very specific environmental data center readings. For example, here at Upsite Technologies, there’s a great system which provides cost-effective monitoring solutions that can be installed across network closets, server rooms, and enterprise data centers. Their EnergyLok Environmental Monitoring System 300 allows data center administrators to utilize a wireless sensor network manager that receives and aggregates signals from up to 150 wireless sensors. Furthermore, when working with next-generation converged systems, you’ll need next-gen access into critical data center environmental variables. That’s why platforms like EMS 300 can be accessed from a web interface, a smartphone, tablet, or remote (secured) web connection. This type of architecture provides a quick and concise understanding of the current sensor network, as well as direct alarm notifications. Most of all – it’ll show you trending information about your data center and cloud ecosystem as well.

Remember, you’re integrating with other core systems in your data center. That’s why these technologies can give you output readings as ModBus, BACnet, and SNMP for integration with building management systems (BMS) and network management systems (NMS). Working with wired sensors can be useful in some cases. However, a modern data center can have several moving parts. Platforms like EMS 300 are deployed as convenient wireless designs which reduce installation and system expansion costs frequently associated with hard-wired sensors and systems. And, it’ll allow users to complete the installation without the aid of an electrician.

Moving forward – your business will continue to depend more and more on your underlying data center. Keeping your infrastructure agile will also help you keep your competitive edge. Data center systems are evolving at very rapid speeds. Platforms like CI and HCI are testaments to growing cloud, data center, and business requirements. Most of all – as we become even more interconnected, your data center will sit at the heart of these technological (and digital) revolutions. Make sure to work with environmental monitoring systems which can keep up with demands and help you design a next-gen data center ecosystem.

Bill Kleyman

Bill Kleyman

CTO, MTM Technologies


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