The TCO of Premium Node Hardware for HCI

While the per node cost of using premium hardware in Hyperconverged Infrastructure 2.0 (HCI) is higher than the per node cost of using commodity hardware common to HCI 1.0, the total cost of ownership is significantly lower. The primary reason for the lower TCO is HCI 2.0 increased efficiency. The typical HCI 2.0 solution uses significantly fewer nodes which has a ripple effect of savings across the entire infrastructure.

The Impact of Efficient Nodes

In HCI 2.0 each node in the cluster can support potentially hundreds of virtual machines (VM). The nodes can also provide the resources needed to drive Tier 1 applications. The combination of high VM counts with not having to silo Tier 1 applications means not only significantly fewer nodes but also lower networking requirements. An HCI 2.0 solution typically consumes far fewer ports and needs fewer switches than previous HCI 1.0 incarnations.

Fewer nodes also mean lower software licensing costs. Most hypervisors are licensed by number of nodes and number of cores, regardless of how effectively those nodes and cores are utilized.

Efficient Nodes Means Simpler Management

Another significant cost reduction of HCI 2.0 is the reduction in administration time. While HCI 1.0 solutions talk about “just adding a node” as if it were an advantage, adding a node creates a multitude of challenges for IT. And, just adding a node happens frequently in HCI 1.0 environments as we discussed in a prior blog.

Some of the challenges created by “just adding a node” include finding or making rack space to position the node, physically connecting the node to the networking infrastructure, and getting someone from the networking team to properly configure the node so it can be added to the HCI cluster and properly secured. HCI 2.0 limits by a factor of ten, how often these steps need to occur.

The biggest challenge with the “just add a node” mindset is that the need for new nodes doesn’t occur in sync with the organization’s budgeting cycle. In HCI 2.0, since each node delivers more performance and more capacity than an HCI 1.0 node, the occurrence of adding a node happens far less frequently. Node additions can be scheduled and planned for, even occurring at normal budget cycle intervals.


As a result of HCI 2.0 the organization can move all their workloads to the HCI cluster, including previously bare-metal Tier 1 workloads. The organization can run its entire data center on the HCI cluster, creating a less complex environment for IT to manage and with a much smaller footprint. HCI 2.0 reduces software licensing costs as well as the investment in networking hardware. In short HCI 2.0 lives up to the promises made by HCI 1.0.

To learn more about HCI 2.0 check out our on demand webinar “How to Put an End to Hyperconverged Silos”. By watching the webinar you’ll learn:

  • HCI 1.0 Shortcomings Are Costing You Money and Adding Complexity
  • Why Hardware Matters in HCI Solutions
  • How HCI 2.0 is Built with Tier 1 Workloads (Oracle, MS-SQL and Hybrid Cloud)

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George Crump is the Chief Marketing Officer at VergeIO, the leader in Ultraconverged Infrastructure. Prior to VergeIO he was Chief Product Strategist at StorONE. Before assuming roles with innovative technology vendors, George spent almost 14 years as the founder and lead analyst at Storage Switzerland. In his spare time, he continues to write blogs on Storage Switzerland to educate IT professionals on all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought-after public speaker. With over 30 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS, SAN, Virtualization, Cloud, and Enterprise Flash. Before founding Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators, where he was in charge of technology testing, integration, and product selection.

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