The rising adoption rate of the hyper-converged infrastructure framework by companies is an indicator of the technology's maturity. Source: Shutterstock

The rising adoption rate of the hyper-converged infrastructure framework by companies is an indicator of the technology’s maturity. Source: Shutterstock

Why hyper-converged infrastructure is worth the hype

IN THE LAST few years or so. hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) has gone from being a mere buzzword to taking on a more mainstream role within the enterprise technology world.

HCI, in a nutshell, is a convergence of storage, compute, and networking functions into one single framework. The technology has matured quite rapidly to the point that many forward-looking businesses are starting to explore the framework.

According to one recent report, along with the acceptance rate, there has been a steady rise of implementation of HCI by businesses.

Further, the study asserted that 79 percent of large companies are expanding their HCI systems, and starting to deploy them for mission-critical workloads.

It also indicates that the approach to IT infrastructure has shifted from hardware to software and on-premise setups, to the cloud or hybrid with multiple factors driving the change.

Key strengths and drivers of HCI

One of the most significant contributors that make HCI a viable option for enterprises everywhere is the increasing need for IT infrastructure that is simple, flexible and more agile, to meet the workload demand of the digital era.

HCI, for starters, removes the barriers and silos that demarcate compute and storage functions and combines them in one system. By doing this, the operational tasks that support businesses are accelerated. But that is just the beginning.

While converged infrastructure merged hardware and software into a single, easy-to-manage system, HCI takes another innovative step forward by tying together all the storage, computing, as well as the networking resources.

On top being extremely scalable, HCI  management of IT infrastructure has never been easier, as all the different storage, servers, and networking hardware are now under the control of one single system. This enables unprecedented operational efficiency and eliminates the need for dedicated experts to support individual functions.

Beyond that, the ease of deployment is another key driver of the technology. Some HCI vendors claim that the framework could be deployed under one hour, and be configured in multiple different ways that best fits the enterprise use case.

Besides, HCI is expanded in increments, whereby companies could start small first with single or double nodes, and add nodes as they grow. This way, there is no significant commitment upfront.

Increased uptake in the future

Due to the simplicity and increased efficiency that the technology brings, companies will continue to expand their adoption of HCI, as it has the potential to address the need for edge computing.

According to a Gartner’s prediction, more hardware vendors will support HCI on ruggedized server platforms to meet the demand of edge use cases in the retail, mining, and manufacturing sectors.

In a recent analysis of HCI, the research firm had also posited that as much as 20 percent of mission-critical applications that are currently being deployed on traditional three-tier IT infrastructure are expected to be migrated to HCI platforms.

While the technology is gaining traction at the moment, businesses should also properly educate themselves before investing in the technology. There are a few factors that companies need to consider when gauging if HCI is the right approach for their organization.

Factors such as cost, vendor lock-in, and lag time and lack of expertise have to be taken into account before acquiring any new technology such as HCI. However, these challenges are only fleeting and will eventually be addressed as the technology continues to mature.

In conclusion, it may be too soon tell if HCI is really worth the hype. However, due to its simplicity, efficiency, and optimal performance, the framework does appear to have the potential to address the IT needs of modern businesses.