The Reality of HCI - Moving Beyond the Hype

When it first came to the scene, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) may have taken the world by storm – offering a way to implement virtualised infrastructures quickly, easily and at a fraction of the cost of a 3-tier architecture. The buzz around hyperconvergence was at an all-time high back in 2016, with a study by ESG showing that up to 70% of organisations were planning to use HCI in their data centres.

However, businesses soon realised that while the first-generation HCI systems did solve some problems, they also had their own set of limitations and challenges. For example, cross-app interference led to performance trade-offs, first-gen HCI introduced new silos in the data centre, and scaling, while made simple, was pretty much inflexible – storage, computing, and network resources couldn’t be scaled independently. It was not able to efficiently support mixed workloads, provide consistent and predictable performance or automate resource management.

In other words, while it was a novel and forward-looking idea, the first iterations of HCI were unable to meet or address the more demanding requirements of the modern enterprise in the digital transformation era.

Move on to today, the hype has inevitably waned with the focus having moved to the next big thing in the world of IT. But having said that, HCI has had time to settle, mature and improve over the years. The steady progress and evolution, as well as continued growing adoption of HCI have proven that it is here to stay. In fact, it is proving to be a necessary component for companies looking to build next-generation data centres (NGDC).

Now, companies like NetApp are offering the next generation of hyperconverged solutions that overcome the limitations of first-gen HCI platforms. For example, NetApp HCI is equipped with features that enable fine-grained control of performance for every application, eliminating noisy neighbours, meeting the performance needs of the enterprise, making infrastructure utilisation optimum as well as improved performance SLAs. Because of the way the storage is managed, it eliminates performance variance in the context of where the data is stored, because the data is distributed across all the nodes in the HCI cluster.

With next-gen HCI, businesses can scale their compute and storage resources independently as and when required. In the case of NetApp HCI, leveraging the strength of the SolidFire scale-out architecture, node-based architecture means that it is equipped with true mixed workload capability and every volume has a guaranteed performance level. This translates into enhanced performance and efficiency, even for the most critical tier-1 workloads.

In addition, being Data Fabric ready means that NetApp HCI allows businesses to connect disparate data management and storage resources and easily access all their data across public, private or hybrid cloud – thereby achieving the vision required for the next generation of virtualised platforms for workload consolidation, from edge to core data centre.

In this day and age, the criteria that makes an organisation able to traverse the technological race is its ability to evolve at the pace the technology does. For this, NetApp is more than prepared to guide and support the enterprise through these trying times of digital disruption.

For more information on how NetApp HCI can help your business perform better, please visit this site.

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