It’s all about HCI or no-HCI…

The first thing which comes in mind while talking about HCI (Hyper Converged Infrastructure) is whether it is a reliable solution or not. Enterprise organizations who have spent millions of $$ and years of experience into 3-Tier architecture may find it a bitter sip to gulp.

However as per Gartner’s report for year 2016 expected growth for HCI will touch 2 billion$ by end of this year and in next five year it will be counted in mainstream. Looking at this it doesn’t surprise why companies like Nutanix, SuperMicro, DellEMC, CISCO are jumping into this business.  But the question still remains the same, what makes an organization to decide whether deploying HCI can become a solution for them or not?

In a real world’s statement “Application is Business“. Today we can’t imagine any organization  which can sustain its existence without application. So the entire stress is to make application availability 99.xx% This high demand requires hardware to deliver promising operation and on top of it redundancy solutions to minimize maintenance downtimes. When we talk about HCI where underlying data is residing on locally attached SSDs or HDDs the overall throughput becomes significantly high. Resulting in high I/O applications to suffice its resource needs even during peak operational hours. Many of the customer in today’s date are considering HCI as a choice for database, VDI or even graphic rich applications. This statement remains true for Greenfield as well as Brownfield deployments within the organization.

Now the question arise which HCI solution is better than the other considering you have plenty of options available in market as of today. The answer lies deep-down in the real fact how we look at our current infrastructure and what will be the future projections for load deployed on HCI. Like any 3-Tier architecture the first question starts that  how much of total workload going to be deployed on HCI which helps to make choice of hardware. Next is Hypervisor – it plays a major role in any HCI deployment because all we care about is Administration & Consumption of the workload. Making a right choice of hypervisor puts first step right into this journey. Now this question may differ from person-to-person and their comfort level with various hypervisors. In my IT carrier I have worked on many of market leading hypervisors (ESXi, AHV, KVM..) but found ESXi to be most promising in terms of administrative ease, this opinion may vary person to person. But never choose something just because it is FREE (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch). Because the hypervisor may be a FREE product but the support ISN’T and all we care about is good support. Another thing which is equally important how underline storage is managed via that hypervisor. if the choice is between vSAN vs Nutanix then it is tough to answer because both have it’s own pros & cons but none of the storage architecture is less capable than the other one. I have seen customers deploying vSphere on Nutanix as well, so the real choice is in customer’s hand which combination they want to go ahead. Once all these points are worked upon then it’s time to start with a POC of HCI and test it’s power. All you need is some dedicated hardware (min 3) with atleast one SSD to start of with this solution.

With all I’ll close this blog for today. More to be discussed in the next blog, till then keep reading…

To be continued…

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