June 24, 2022

Article
3 min

Simplify Your Data Center With Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Software-defined HCI eases management for virtual desktop infrastructure and virtual machine environments.

Jeff Kirkton

When hyperconverged infrastructure first came onto the market several years ago, several customers told me that HCI sounded great, but they didn’t want to be trailblazers. Now, HCI has proved itself, and as organizations refresh their data centers, many of them are choosing to adopt HCI. These unified solutions combine computing, storage and memory under software-defined management via a hypervisor.

One of HCI’s key benefits is the simplification of data center management. IT staffers no longer have to figure out the best way to put disks into a RAID group or to move applications from one group to another because one application needs to go faster. Because HCI makes all the CPU, memory and storage available to all the applications in a pool, all the administrator has to do is manage the virtual machine within the hypervisor. That, in turn, automatically uses the necessary hardware components for applications to run on. 

Here are two use cases where HCI can be an excellent fit: virtual desktop infrastructure and traditional virtual environments.

Hyperconvergence Simplifies Remote Endpoint Management

For VDI, HCI works better than anything on the market. Every new virtual desktop requires additional CPU, memory and storage. If an organization has 300 users and wants to add another 100, HCI eliminates the need to determine exact CPU, memory or storage. Specific modeling determines the additional resources the organization will need for that expansion, and it can quickly meet that need by adding another node to the hyperconvergence cluster, or possibly adding more components to the existing cluster. 

Consider an organization that has one desktop image for the entire company and wants to add secondary images for specific departments. IT staffers need only click a button to say, “Add this image for this department.” There’s no need to reimage the desktop or ask employees to physically take their devices somewhere to get software added.

As a result, it becomes almost effortless to manage endpoint devices remotely. For the administrator running a VDI environment, hyperconvergence means no longer needing to be a server administrator, a storage administrator and a network administrator. All that must be managed is the virtual desktop application.

Pooled Data Center Resources Streamline Application Performance

Another popular use case is running traditional workloads in a virtual machine environment. Here, HCI is an excellent solution because it delivers the performance and capacity where they are needed, when they are needed. 

In a traditional environment, one workload can affect the overall environment, and administrators must make adjustments accordingly. HCI, on the other hand, pools all the CPU, memory and storage for all workloads. When one workload has a surge, more CPU is available. When one workload needs more storage, it’s there. It’s simple since the IT team doesn’t have to configure hardware or redirect servers. The hyperconverged solution does that all by itself, and when staffers need to make changes, they can do so through the hypervisor and HCI solution rather than physically touching the hardware. 

Overall, HCI allows organizations to do more with less. One hypervisor administrator can handle in minutes what used to take hours. In addition, because IT staffers are spending less time keeping the lights on, they can invest more time in improving and upgrading applications. That’s a powerful benefit to keep in mind as organizations consider their next data center strategies.

Story by Jeff Kirkton