22 Sep Is Storage + Dense Server Considered Hyperconverged?

What is and what isn’t considered a ‘hyperconverged’ infrastructure?
 
Question: Is a [Storage Vendor Name] + dense server implementation close enough to be considered hyperconverged?

During the ActualTech Media Introduction to Hyperconvergence webinar held on September 18, 2014, an audience member asked whether the combination of storage from a specific vendor plus a dense server pool could be considered hyperconverged.

On this specific question, the answer is No. Although there will likely be a number of vendors from different specific resource areas – storage, compute, etc. – that attempt to attach their brand to the hyperconvergence moniker, there are some characteristics that must be present in order to a solution to be considered hyperconverged.

Single (Or Massively Simplified) Administration

Hyperconverged infrastructure vendors tout simplified administration of the data center as one of the primary benefits of the solution. Many storage vendors today have integrated big chunks of storage management needs right into existing tools such as vCenter. In that way, those storage solutions are actively working to simplify the data center administration paradigm, which is a great benefit to these solutions.

However, even while many do integrate the various tools into one console, there is still a need to manage underlying storage constructs, such as LUNs. Many hyperconverged systems eschew the need for even these kinds of efforts. As such, there is still a need to manage separate resources in at least some fashion. Again, this may not be true for all storage vendors, so check with your specific vendor before assuming this is true for yours.

Linear Resource Scalability

Even if the software is completely and 100% simplified with a specific storage vendor, there remains the need to separately manage both storage and compute. Hyperconvergence makes the basic assumption that these two resources re tightly coupled with the storage resource being a series of locally attached disks which the vendor’s software layer then aggregates and presents to the cluster as single unified data store.

Any solution that uses standalone storage is not hyperconverged. With a hyperconverged solution, every time a new node is added, there is additional compute, storage, and network capability added to the cluster. Simply adding a shelf of disks to an existing storage system does not provide linear scalability and can eventually lead to resource constraints if not managed carefully.

For more information, please download my book entitled Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Dummies in which I discuss why linear resource scalability is one of the key benefits of hyperconverged infrastructure.

Scott D. Lowe, vExpert, MVP Hyper-V, MCSE
scott@actualtechmedia.com

Virtualization and storage expert Scott D. Lowe is a multi-year vExpert, MVP Hyper-V, frequent speaker for multiple organizations and Co-Founder of ActualTech Media. Scott has been in the IT field for over twenty years with ten of those years filling the CIO role for various organizations. Scott has authored several books and hundreds of whitepapers, research reports and the like throughout his career. Over the years, he has regularly contributed to such sites as TechRepublic, Wikibon, and VirtualizationSoftware.com and is currently the editor of EnterpriseStorageGuide.com

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