In past years you’ve likely become an expert at virtualization. You are a pro at managing your data centre infrastructure consisting of networks, compute and storage. Then someone comes along and starts talking to you about converging the above three into a hyper-converged infrastructure.
Will this help you? Is this the new path of all IT departments? There is no simple answer. There are pros and cons to running a hyper-converged infrastructure, and before you make a major infrastructure design shift, you should make sure you understand your needs, and how a hyper-converged can help or hinder.
You’ll hear vendors pitching linear scalability as a huge benefit. The question to ask; is your infrastructure something that scales in this manner? This is a great feature if you grow equally across storage and compute, but how many environments actually do this? If you plan to deploy a new application that requires some extra storage outside your allotted amount, buying another hyper-converged node, will not only give that storage, but pile on more CPU and memory where it may not be needed. And don’t forget, adding that node will require another hypervisor license! The same thought process can be applied from the other perspective; if you just need more memory, do you want to have to purchase more storage and licensing?
The above may give you a negative impression, but that’s not the big picture. Let’s say you’re working on a VDI project. You run a capacity planner, you do your due diligence to understand how many virtual workstations you can fit on a node, hyper-converged may be perfect. Every time you add a certain number of users, you add a node. Easy. Maybe you’re a managed service provider, sharing resources among several smaller companies that have predictable growth, hyper-converged could be the answer. Lastly, you have a remote office that requires some virtual machines onsite, pop in a few hyper-converged nodes from the vendor of your choice and just like that you have a small footprint, easy to manage remote office with excellent performance.
There are other pros and cons that may have an effect on your decision, but instead of listing them all in a blog, you can contact FoxNet and have a face to face meeting to discuss your infrastructure as it is today, where you need it to go, and how hyper-converged could fit into that picture.