Hyperconverged Solutions Need Long Term Flexibility

There is only one constant in the data center – change. Change, at least in the data center, is good. Done right, it delivers more performance in less space while reducing costs. But some hyperconverged solutions are resistant to change, slowing it down, keeping the data center from reaping the benefits that technological improvements offer.

In this StorageShort, Storage Switzerland’s George Crump and Maxta’s Kiran Sreenivasamurthy discuss how important long term flexibility is to hyperconverged architectures.

The problem is many hyperconverged solutions are provided by a vendor who delivers the hardware and the software in a turnkey bundle. This means the organization is solely dependent on that vendor for all hardware and software upgrades. If for some reason that vendor is slow to support the next generation of Intel processor, like SkyLake, or the next storage interconnect, like NVMe, then the organization can’t integrate in servers from another vendor that may.

The other type of hyperconvergence, software defined, is not tied to a specific hardware type. The customer can select whatever hardware platform they want, and more importantly integrate other hardware types in the future. The software approach enables organizations to quickly move to new nodes from another vendor so they can embrace new technology or simply lower prices.

But a software approach to hyperconvergence does not mean a more difficult upfront install. Vendors using the software approach have strategic relationships with hardware vendors, enabling them to deliver bundled, turnkey solutions. And still the organization can integrate other hardware from other vendors in the future.

Another problem with this bundled approach is the organization typically ends up paying a premium for the hardware. The claim is the hardware vendor is adding value, evidence of that additional value versus the software only capabilities is missing. Finally as we discuss in our column, “The Hidden Cost of Hyperconvergence,“ the bundling of hardware and software also leads to a situation where the customer “re-buys” the software when a node is replaced.

StorageSwiss Take

Sometimes, in the process of simplifying initial implementation vendors complicate long term flexibility. While getting through the initial install is important so the organization can realize value from their investment, long term flexibility makes sure that investment keeps delivering well into the future. The good news is it is not an either or choice. IT can leverage a software approach to hyperconvergence for long term flexibility, but those software vendors can partner with server vendors to deliver a turnkey experience upfront.

We discuss these issues and more on our on demand webinar, “Hardware-Based Hyperconvergence vs. Hyperconvergence Software”. Register to watch it now and you will also get an exclusive copy of our latest white paper, “Is A Hardware Approach Breaking Hyperconverged Architectures?

Watch On Demand

Eight years ago George Crump, founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal. To educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is and a heavily sought after public speaker. With 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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