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Hyper Converged: Choices, Misconceptions & Facts

Nov 5, 2015

In the world of IT, there is much concern and focus around efficiency, total cost of ownership and consolidation. These concerns are ever growing and now even more so because of shrinking budgets. What that translates to is being more resourceful, with less money…and more often than not, less staff. These factors are amongst many and a primary cause for the buzz around and the emergence of the new kid on the block, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure.

Some of the questions being asked about this next generation of technology are:

  • What is hyper-convergence?
  • What are the options (vendors, integrators, etc.)?
  • What is the TOTAL cost (TCA + TCO)?
  • Where & When is this technology the right fit?

Hyper-convergence is a type of infrastructure that integrates storage, compute, networking, and virtualization resources. These are tied into a software-centric architecture on commodity hardware, all of which are supported by a single vendor. The integrated technologies can be managed and simplified with a common toolset, as a single system. The first major players in the hyper-converged market, were market leaders Nutanix along with their main competition in 2014, Simplivity, both leveraging VMware ESXi as a hypervisor. In late 2014, VMware introduced EVO Rail, which was very intriguing as it competes directly with two of their partners, in Nutanix and Simplivity. Both of those companies introduced their solution as a leap forward that created a new niche. VMware with their “Qualified EVO Rail” partners program, extended Hyper-Converged solutions to the rest of the field, with big players (HDS, EMC, NetApp, Fujitsu and Dell) along with a few others. The concept of QEP means each partner must meet certain minimum requirements on specs. The specifications simply set the foundation for what type of hardware each partners product utilizes, this means even by choosing EVO Rail you still need to choose which vendors commodity box is best tailored to your specific pain points.

The biggest misconception surrounding hyper-converged products is “they are far too expensive!” When all things are considered Hyper Converged is actually a very competitively priced approach. Whichever hyper-converged appliance you choose to take can be highly beneficial on the cost of operations. The product is described as the “IT appliance”, due to the fact you can just plug in and go. The simplicity of managing this solution means you do not need 10 IT employees or countless hours for implementation time, due to the management tools tied into these bundles. The total cost of operations can be substantially lower than other IT solutions.

Costs vary depending on the vendor’s solution (ie. A Nutanix appliance vs. EVO Rail on Dell infrastructure, etc.). In all cases however, the cost of entry will be upwards of $100K USD for any of the solutions

The biggest question of all is when and where will a hyper-converged solution be a good fit. With a huge need for consolidation in mid-market to the enterprise, these will be a great purchase. The need for scalability with easily managed computing tools makes almost all hyper converged products a fantastic fit. Smaller companies may find this a hefty price to swallow but it is still a great fit for smaller companies if they will be a growing company that does not need a large IT team.

The final conclusion is that if you are looking for long term savings, easily managed hardware, consolidation within your environment…Hyper converged can fit perfectly into your environment.

For more information contact us at 1 (416) 867-3000 or info@highvail.com. You can also visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @HighVail!

Written by Garry Daoust,
Lead Generation/Inside Sales Rep, Highvail Systems Inc.