Possible Hyperconverged Infrastructure Approach

Hyperconverged market and product capabilities are rapidly increasing. Right now there are many types of approaches available for customer to start their journey. In this article, I will try to explain three possible approach to hyperconverged infrastructure and their pros/cons.

Hyperconverged Solution consists of following three main components:

a) Physical node, which consists of CPU, RAM and local storage within a enclosure.
b) Software Defined Storage (SDS), bring together all the local storage in the physical nodes to form a scale out virtual storage pool.
c) Hypervisor, abstract physical resources and provides virtual resources to virtual machines.

Below table explains the three possible hyperconverged infrastructure approaches:
(scroll right for more)

 DescriptionPossible VendorsPROSCONS
Approach 1Bundled
▪ Hardware
▪ Software Defined Storage
▪ Hypervisor*

Pick and Choose
▪ nothing
▪ EMC VxRail
▪ EMC VxRack (integrated)
▪ EVO: Rail (Dell, HDS, Fujitsu etc.)
▪ Operations Difficulty Level : Easy
▪ Support Model: Simple
▪ Performance: Predictable
▪ Architecture Agility : Moderate
▪ Hypervisor Choices: Limited
▪ Price Point: Varies
▪ Vendor Lockdown: High
Approach 2Bundled
▪ Hardware
▪ Software Defined Storage

Pick and Choose
▪ Hypervisor*
▪ Nutanix
▪ SimpliVity
▪ Cisco HyperFlex
▪ EMC VxRack Node
▪ Operations Difficulty Level : Easy to Moderate
▪ Hypervisor Choices: Moderate
▪ Performance: Predictable
▪ Architecture Agility : Limited to Moderate
▪ Price Point: Sometime Expensive
▪ Vendor Lockdown: Medium
▪ Support Model: Multi-Party
Approach 3Bundled
▪ Nothing

Pick and Choose
▪ Hardware Vendor
▪ Hypervisor*
▪ Software Defined Storage
Hardware
▪ HP / Dell / EMC/ Huawei etc.

Hypervisor
▪ VMware/ Hyper-V/KVM etc

Software Defined Storage
▪ EMC ScaleIO / vSAN / MAPR / CEPH
▪ Performance: Varies on design
▪ Architecture Agility: High
▪ Hypervisor Choice: High
▪ Vendor Lockdown: Low
▪ Price Point: Lower Compare to Approach 1 & 2 **
▪ Operations Difficulty Level : Medium
▪ Support Model: Complex Multi-Party***

*Types of Hypervisor support will be based on Software-Defined Storage vendor.
** EMC – using VxRack but ScaleIO software is fix
***Based on previous projects
**** We can help to resolve this. Happy to discuss further, please use contact us to reach out to me.

Approach 1: This might be a safer choice for customers who would like to start their journey on hyperconvergence in a most safe and pre-tested solution. This approach requires less effort and easy to manage. Price Point can be challenging and Vendor lock-down is high as it is all-in-one (hardware+ SDS+ hypervisor) bundle solution.

Approach 2: When customers want to deploy and scale large, this approach makes more sense as it gives flexibility and options for hypervisor. There are some limitations in architecture choices and support is usually from multi-party. Vendor lock-down is medium as both hardware and SDS choices are fix.

Approach 3: This approach is suitable for customers who wants to industrialize the hyperconverged environment. They require architecture agility which suits their environment and is large enough to justify complex support model. Price point and vendor lock down is usually low in this approach as hardware, SDS and hypervisor can be procured separately. This approach has also seen some low price points.

Customer can opt for any or combination of above approaches. If any customer would like to clarify on what approach is suitable for their environment, happy to have a discussion.

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