Traditional, Converged and Hyper-converged Infrastructure – What's the Difference?
Sagar Mandan

In the realm of technology, hyper-convergence has emerged as a "hot" topic. Due to the many commercial demands, it meets, it has established a strong presence in the sector and is growing popularity quickly. A Gartner report predicts that the hyper-converged market will expand by 75% in 2016 and become "mainstream" in a matter of years.

There isn't a "one size fits all" answer to anything. We have made an effort to develop some tips to assist you in selecting the appropriate infrastructure for your company in light of this. What distinguishes converged, traditional, and hyper-converged infrastructures from one other? What benefits does hyper-convergence provide, and what applications does it fit?

Let's start by examining what makes their infrastructures unique:

Traditional Infrastructure

Traditional infrastructures are made up of discrete components, such as application servers, networking, storage servers and backup appliances. They might be obtained from a single vendor or a variety of them.

Traditional infrastructure has interconnected parts that each need to be configured separately. Each component must be controlled independently, which typically calls for IT specialists with varied specialties.

Companies who work with large deployments and have a secure environment might still benefit from traditional infrastructures. These businesses may run a number of programmes that generate thousands or tens of petabytes of data. Traditional infrastructures can support several users with ease as well.

Such infrastructures are beneficial for massive operations or enormous data centers with endless processes for international corporations.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Currently, HCI hyper converged infrastructure is being hailed as the data center of the future. HCI integrated networking, storage, and computing capabilities into a single device that is linked together by a shared fabric. Software controls every aspect of the system's resources, making it impossible to manage each one separately.

A single vendor offers the HCI and is in charge of handling both hardware and software-related concerns. Due to the platform's pre-configuration and the integration of all technologies into one, the deployment of the solution is quicker. As a result, operational expenses, complexity, and interoperability are all decreased.

The hypervisor that powers the system serves as the framework for all virtualization that the system performs. Advanced data services are also abundant on HCI platforms, which are similarly simple to link to third-party applications. It offers streamlined installation, acquisition, support, and management, lowering costs while boosting output and profitability.

Moreover, HCI hyper-converged infrastructures provide improved accuracy, quicker response times, and increased efficiency at a lower cost. It is appropriate for sectors that rely on advanced data computation and have a shorter time to market. The simplicity of scaling HCI is another benefit. By connecting more units, it is readily scalable, preventing over- or underbuying. HCI solutions even reduce the TCO by up to 50% and foster a cost-conscious atmosphere.

There are fewer moving parts because the platform is made up of a single stack of integrated technologies. Less likelihood of difficulties or hardware problems results from this.

Converged Infrastructure

The SSD or HDD arrays are usually stored in a rack of shelves with a processor as part of the standard infrastructure. All of these are combined into a single storage platform based on nodes in converged architecture, which offers unparalleled redundancy. This cuts a lot on IT costs and lowers the cost of repair and support.

Despite the fact that they are all contained in one box, you must manage each part independently. It is a plug-and-play solution since it is made up of independent components that can be used separately from the infrastructure.

A single manufacturer typically offers a turnkey system that includes the application server, storage server and networking equipment in a single box. Increased agility and efficiency are provided by the system's optimization, centralized management, and consolidation into a single unit.

When necessary, new nodes can be added to scale the system. In the event of hardware problems, it is necessary to contact each supplier separately if the components are from various companies.

The entire infrastructure is set up in advance to handle a certain workload type, making it less adaptable when it comes to adjusting to different task kinds. A variety of sizes of the converged infrastructure are available for purchase.

On converged systems, the storage component comes in hybrid arrays or all-flash versions. It will be helpful for organizations that already have a computer and networking infrastructure because it will make it feasible to deploy several kinds of storage for virtual machines. The organization doesn't need to add another shelf because it can transfer the workload to a converged infrastructure.

Converged infrastructure is appropriate for businesses that demand total control over every IT system component. When necessary, they can alter or modify them to meet certain demands. It is also appropriate for a total IT revamp because all parts may be purchased as a package. There is no need to look around the market for each component separately.

What Are the Real Differences Between Them?

In traditional infrastructures, a virtualization hypervisor that manages the virtual machines installed on the server is run by the physical servers. When it pertains to data storage, three alternatives are accessible: network-attached storage (NAS), storage-area network (SAN), and direct-attached storage (DAS).

In converged infrastructures, storage, which is typically flash storage, is handled by the physical server. Because each node in the cluster provides the storage controller function as a service, HCI features a software-defined storage notion. While the real servers contain vital data, commonly requested data is usually saved locally.

Now that you are aware of the distinctions and complexities among the three technologies, you may choose with confidence the kind of infrastructure your business will require.

Take Away

It is impossible to give you all the necessary resources to make an infrastructure choice that meets your needs. A solid understanding of the available possibilities is necessary, but the organization itself is more crucial.

To achieve the best results, both must cooperate, as with any solution. Since hybrid cloud situations are becoming more prevalent and expanding your on-premises infrastructure is a valuable asset, one thing is certain: the rise of HCI won't be decreasing anytime soon.