Featured, Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Maximizing ROI with Hyperconverged Infrastructure


Data center infrastructure is a costly endeavor for any organization. A lot of time and money goes into planning and architecting a data center infrastructure. If the architecture planning goes wrong or capacity planning is underestimated, it will be difficult to see a good return on investment (ROI).

A traditional infrastructure has many moving parts to consider. Separate siloes for compute, storage and networking are involved; they can be misconfigured or underestimated, making the whole infrastructure very complicated and expensive. By going with a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), you’re bundling the compute, storage and memory siloes into a singular form factor. In effect, this allows you to maximize ROI and realize the full potential of your infrastructure design. Here are three ways that HCI can maximize your infrastructure ROI.

Control Labor Expenses

An HCI deployment allows you to move away from a siloed approach to managing your infrastructure. Traditional infrastructure requires administrators from different teams to manage each component. You would require a virtualization administrator, a networking administrator and likely a storage administrator. HCI combines those three components in the same chassis, creating a situation where there isn’t a need for three separate teams. Finding the right person and training them to work across the infrastructure will save on headcount: instead of employing one or two admins for each silo, you can use two or three administrators in total who understand the entire stack and can managing your HCI.

Simplify Capacity Planning and Scale

A traditional infrastructure requires a big upfront investment and is usually based on 3- to 5-year capacity planning. The problem with this model is that technology advances at a rapid pace, and within 5 years your traditional infrastructure hardware has depreciated; at the same time, performance generally starts to lag. Adding newer technology in most cases requires the dreaded “forklift upgrade.” With upgrades of that scale, you can expect significant disruption and downtime, including time for failover and failback to/from a DR site.

HCI provides an easy solution to forklift upgrades. In an HCI deployment, there isn’t a need for a long-term capacity planning exercise. One of the major benefits of HCI is the ability to scale on demand by simply adding new nodes or a new block to the rack. There isn’t any downtime required for this type of inline upgrade, significantly impacting your bottom line. Additionally, HCI requires less power, rack space and cooling compared to traditional infrastructure, further maximizing that golden ROI.

Decrease Cost Per Workload

Moore’s law applies to HCI, and is another way that great ROI is realized. Intel co-founder Gordon Moore stated in 1965 that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years. Essentially this means that as technology advances, compute power increases and cost goes down.

What does this have to do with HCI? As HCI technology advances, compute, storage, and memory efficiency goes up, while the cost of HCI goes down. In essence, the cost per workload decreases. This is a somewhat more obscure, but still important, benefit for ROI. Moore’s Law has impacted all of technology today, and will continue to for decades.

HCI is a big investment, and it helps to know as technology advances your cost per workload will decrease while your infrastructure becomes more efficient.

It’s More Than Just CAPEX and OPEX

At times, organizations can get hyper focused on CAPEX vs. OPEX and vice-versa. Maximizing your HCI deployment’s ROI is more than just dollars on a spreadsheet. The impact of the workloads that your HCI is processing and how the end user consumes those workloads is where you see the real ROI on your HCI.

In the end, it’s all about your customers and what their experience is as they interact with the applications and workloads your HCI is hosting. Don’t let HCI become a dollars and cents nightmare: see the ROI from all perspectives, which will help you squeeze the most out of it.