There’s no denying that hyperconverged infrastructure is a hard-to-ignore trend right now, promising to dramatically shift the way data center infrastructure is procured, deployed, and managed.
But, like most new technology, skepticism remains, and IT professionals are questioning whether the technology can live up to its hype. To answer those questions, SimpliVity teamed up with ActualTech Media to survey more than 500 technology professionals and members of organizational management to gauge their understanding of the hyperconverged industry.
First, let’s backtrack and define “hyperconverged infrastructure.” This innovative technology permits cloud-like economics for data centers without compromising performance, reliability, or availability, allowing adopters to see improved operational efficiency, scalability, accelerated deployment time, and reduced costs.
Guest article by Jesse St. Laurent, VP of Product Strategy, SimpliVity
Why would the promise of hyperconvergence be beneficial to small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs)? According to reasearch from The Aberdeen Group, 42 percent of SMBs reported aging infrastructure as their top IT challenge. With this in mind, we surveyed small, midmarket, and large enterprise companies primarily in North America and Europe, seeking to understand how well hyperconvergence expectations are meeting realities. Here are three questions the survey sought to answer.
Is hyperconverged infrastructure widely accepted, or still only about VDI?
With hyperconverged infrastructure, some vendors started off focusing on Virtualization Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), but that’s not its only use case.
The technology is young, with only 24 percent of respondents reporting that they have a hyperconverged infrastructure in place. That said, more than half (54 percent) of those who have not already adopted report plans to deploy hyperconverged infrastructure in the next 24 to 36 months. The majority of those companies planning to adopt are large enterprises.
Given that hyperconverged infrastructure is not yet a “household” term in IT, those who have yet to adopt it cite myriad challenges for deployment. The top reasons have nothing to do with the technology itself, but rather with the business cycle and the absence of any present need to re-examine data center operations. For example, survey respondents reported that their “current solution works fine,” or that they “recently updated infrastructure.” Long story short, this is a market that still needs comprehensive education and outreach efforts.
Currently, hyperconverged adoption is only a strong consideration when data center refresh cycles come around. Given this, IT professionals are advised to continually weigh the potential benefits of hyperconvergence, especially when it comes time for a data center upgrade. Such an upgrade can provide IT with a focused point of entry for getting started with hyperconverged adoption, and that kind of focus is preferable to a rip-and-replace approach.
How does hyperconverged infrastructure play into my company’s top IT priorities?
Nearly half (45 percent) of all respondents cite improved data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity as top IT priorities, most likely due to the apparent difficulties maintaining data on- and off-premises in today’s dynamic, diverse, and always-on data center.
Improving operational efficiency is second on the priority list (cited by 43 percent of respondents), as it is a measure of IT’s ability to achieve its objectives with the minimum allocation of run-rate resources (such as time, staff, and budget).
Lesser priorities still on respondents’ radar underscore the shift IT organizations are making to modernize infrastructure, including VDI and increased use of server virtualization and cloud infrastructure services. These priorities can be easily addressed with the right infrastructure in place.
When enterprises enter data center refresh cycles and IT professionals think back to their top IT priorities, hyperconvergence becomes a viable option because it is designed, delivered, and supported by a single vendor. IT professionals can thus aggregate resources and virtual machines within and across the data centers with ease via a single management interface. True hyperconvergence is hyper-efficient, meaning resources are not wasted and don’t conflict with each other.
Because hyperconvergence has the capacity to address many items on the priorities list (including data protection), it provides IT professionals with the opportunity to consider their needs holistically, rather than reviewing data center services and resources individually.
Data center consolidation is a critical IT consideration. How does hyperconvergence help?
Twelve percent of those considering hyperconverged infrastructure identify data center consolidation as their primary driver. In fact, data center consolidation is a significant priority with 25 percent of large enterprise respondents indicating it as critical.
Data center consolidation allows IT to reduce costs and/or improve operational efficiencies. When consolidating the data center, IT professionals should take a total-cost-of-ownership approach, By doing so, they may find that hyperconverged infrastructure may be more cost-effective once productivity savings and operational improvements are factored in.
Any more questions?
So, to all the skeptics out there, does this answer your questions about hyperconverged instrastructure? While the technology is still in its infancy, hyperconverged infrastructure is living up to its hype and expectations are, for the most part, meeting realities. Deployment is expected to increase rapidly as more mainstream vendors enter the market – vendors that are well-trusted and add validity to the technology’s concept.