November 24, 2021

Article
3 min

3 Ways Hyperconvergence Simplifies Data Center Management

Software-defined storage is driving greater business agility. Here’s how.

Joe Lee

As software replaces hardware as the driver of data center infrastructure, organizations are reaping the benefits of easier management, better performance and cost-effective scaling. Hyperconverged infrastructure in particular relies on software-defined storage to simplify the management of critical resources. 

Organizations that adopt HCI no longer have to worry about building out disk groups, RAID groups and input/output operations per second, nor about checking hardware compatibility lists. Instead, they can easily deploy software that ensures hard drives work together, optimally, across the board. 

I’m going to share three ways that HCI enables IT staff to focus on initiatives that move the business forward.

Centralized Management Simplifies the Data Center

Ease of use is one of the biggest payoffs of software-defined storage. Simplified management, coupled with automation, reduces the potential for human error. HCI also makes it easier to manage resources dynamically, responding to the needs of specific workloads and shifting gears as circumstances change. 

Instead of separately managing technologies to configure, maintain and monitor logs and errors, for instance, IT staff can manage the entire infrastructure from a centralized dashboard. Need to manage the hypervisor or provision out another volume to your cluster? The process is simple. Instead of completing a complex series of steps, you can go to the portal, set the amount of storage you need and let the system automatically add it to the cluster.

Ongoing Storage Refreshment Means Better Data Center Performance

HCI also boosts performance, both through automated optimization and by continually refreshing the platform. Improving performance is as simple as adding another node. That node will balance itself out and start moving workloads around. It’s smart enough to understand where virtual machines are making greater demands on storage or processing infrastructure and then keep busier VMs away from those locations. 

In addition, whenever you add a hyperconverged node, you’re adding a new disk. These newer resources help organizations keep up with software advances. Essentially, it allows for a continuous refreshment of the storage platform. As you add new resources (CPU, RAM, disk), you gain performance and capacity.

Hyperconvergence Enables As-Needed Storage Expansion

Hyperconvergence also allows incremental scale-out and scale-up. Instead of investing in a major hardware upgrade, you can add one node at a time, growing gradually as the organization grows. This approach can be far more cost-effective than buying enough capacity for the next five years and then watching that hardware depreciate.

Many organizations found HCI to be essential during the pandemic. It helped them quickly ramp up virtual desktop infrastructure and other resources that support remote work. Now, the HCI clusters that supported those efforts continue to be valuable for the variable demands of hybrid work. 

Finally, organizations that have adopted HCI enjoy proactive support from manufacturers. As systems automatically detect network misconfigurations, dying hard drives and other issues, they proactively create a ticket with the vendor, which can then recommend remediation. The use of metadata to perform continuous health checks ensures that clusters are running optimally and staying healthy. That reduces downtime while making life easier for IT staff and the business as a whole.

Story by Joe Lee