Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is Almost There

Many enterprises are finding it necessary to evaluate their storage and processing needs, even so far as considering upgrading mission-critical systems to hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI).  However, Dell EMC says "Not so fast".  While they encourage transition of workloads to HCI, the technologies aren't quite ready for critical systems.  However, the end of 2018 will bring updates to the tech that means that HCI and more traditional architectures should align.

The "SAN-less" HCI infrastructure market is hot right now, and the tech is finding favor in datacenter applications that can take advantage of its exceptional scalability.  HCI lends itself to general IT use and agile environments; such is Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics.  However, "traditional, monolithic applications with large relational and non-relational databases, such as SAP, Oracle, the patient records system Epic" are best served on SAN-based storage at this time.  Why?  Simply put, mission-critical applications rely on underlying hardware in the SAN for encryption, replication, and high availability.  This is in contrast to HCI, where these abilities come from the software stack.

However, the time is approaching where those feature sets will begin to align, and then the differences between SAN and SAN-less products begin to reduce.  And, taking advantage of existing hardware reaching end of life is a smart plan for enterprises, says Dell EMC.  Non-mission critical applications can be moved to HCI platforms now, and the rest can come later.

This article was based on a February 12, 2018 ComputerWeekly article by Antony Adshead.

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