May 11, 2022

3 min

Why Government Agencies Should Consider a Hyperconverged Infrastructure

State and local governments can experience a number of benefits by modernizing their infrastructure.

Andrew Wall

In state and local government, digital transformation efforts tend to snowball. One improvement leads to another, and that next modernization initiative opens up even more new doors. 

This is exactly what we’re seeing with hyperconverged infrastructure. Just a few years ago, many public agencies simply had too many legacy applications running on physical servers for HCI to be seen as a realistic option. But as states and cities modernize apps and other components of their IT environments, more are turning to HCI as a scalable, cost-effective alternative to traditional three-tier data center infrastructure.

Infrastructure Should Be Scalable and Simple to Manage

Traditional data center infrastructure can take weeks to be delivered, installed and configured. By contrast, HCI is highly scalable, and government agencies can easily add new nodes as storage or compute needs grow. This also means that organizations don’t need to overprovision resources, which helps them minimize wasteful spending. Some HCI vendors allow IT shops to purchase compute- or storage-specific nodes so they can scale up only the resources they need at any given time.

State and local governments typically must make do with a small number of full-time IT staffers. By allowing IT shops to manage their compute, storage and networking from a “single pane of glass,” HCI dramatically simplifies the management burden. This means that agencies can shift their IT professionals away from keeping-the-lights-on tasks that have traditionally been associated with data center management and redirect those people to more strategic projects.

Tech Tools Can Make Management More Flexible and Reduce Costs

Virtual desktop infrastructure has been a popular choice among state and local governments in recent years, as the VDI model centralizes management and provides more flexibility for employee workstations. This has been beneficial, of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic as many employees work from home. 

However, there are also a number of government-specific use cases — such as police patrol cars — for which VDI is a perfect long-term fit. Many organizations have found that hyperconvergence offers the best foundation on which to run their VDI environments, in part because of how storage and compute resources are pooled in HCI.

Hybrid has become the predominant computing model across most industries. The scalability and simplified management of HCI mimic the benefits of the public cloud, making it a natural fit for state and local governments looking to implement or expand their hybrid environments.

Government Agencies Should Consider Cloud Computing Options

When HCI first hit the market, some state and local governments shied away from the solution, in part because its premium price point. That cost has begun to shrink. Furthermore, organizations often find that the total cost of ownership for HCI solutions is lower than for traditional infrastructure, due to more efficient use of IT resources and staff time. Also, HCI can help agencies shift away from a capital expense financing model toward an operating expense model. While HCI does require an upfront investment, much of the expense comes in the form of recurring, predictable subscription fees. 

Story by Andrew Wall, who is a senior solution architect with CDW. He works with customers designing enterprise data center solutions to keep data and applications available to the business. He currently supports corporate, healthcare, and state and local customers. His primary focuses are virtualization, business continuity, data protection and archiving.