Hyperconvergence – Top tips for success
The hyperconverged market is heating up. With the speed, simplicity, and agility needed for a digital economy, HCI solutions are more efficient and deliver a better experience for end users.
Not all HCI solutions were created equal
What’s the best solution, and how do you maximise the potential performance? It’s a crowded market place out there, with vendors competing for market share. The real question is – what’s the best solution for your business? What will enable you to overcome your specific challenges and enable your goals?
Our Data Centre and Virtualisation consultant, Joost Buelens, highlights the key considerations when looking to HCI:
- How much compute and storage power are required to provide HCI services? Utlising the virtualisation host compute resources to provide storage services is the principal foundation behind all HCI solutions. Yet the amount of resource overhead consumed varies amongst HCI solutions, so always consider how much workload your HCI solution can support.
- Network integration. What networking does the solution include? Optimal network performance is essential for a proper functioning HCI solution. To be fault tolerant, all data written to any node must be sent across the network to at least one other node, making it a vital part of the system. Some HCI solutions have the network built in, if not, you may need to invest in additional switches.
- Fault tolerance. How does the solution provide fault tolerance? Some solutions use traditional RAID methods locally on each node, whereas others rely on replicating data to different nodes to provide fault tolerance. Differing strategies mean that some solutions will better handle multiple component failure than others which will impact resilience.
- Deduplication and Compression. Does the solution use storage efficiency techniques to increase the amount of data that can be stored? In some HCI architectures, enabling dedupe and compression can be beneficial for performance – on write, compression means less data is sent to the disk, and using dedupe means only metadata needs to be updated. If the solution does not have compression and dedupe, you may need to purchase more nodes for a certain amount of data.
- Orchestration & Automation support. How much manual work is required to get the solution to achieve what you want – both at installation and in operation? Consider how much resource you have available in your teams to manage the solution at installation and going forward. Can you integrate your HCI platform with any automation tools you are currently using?
- HyperVisor support. This one is quite simple. While some solutions only support ESXi, others will additionally support HyperV.
- Node Sizing. Can you buy or build nodes sized correctly for your requirements? If nodes are limited to a set number of small sizes, you could be paying for more compute than you need to get a certain amount of storage, or vice versa. The right HCI solution should allow you to scale economically as you grow.
- Backup and replication. Some solutions have some backup and/or replication services built-in. Others are supported by popular backup products, so it’s important to consider how to back up the HCI solution and how to replicate data for site resilience – some HCI solutions may even be able replace your current backup solution.
With multiple factors to consider, our consultants first listen to what you want to achieve, combining our commercial and technical expertise to design, implement, and manage the right HCI solution to support your specific requirements.