A common misconception about hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is that because data services are software-defined, the hardware doesn’t matter. It’s easy to see why—the software driving HCI solutions such as the Dell EMC XC Series (in this case, Nutanix software) is exceptional. It efficiently manages data and communications across a cluster of nodes and storage tiers, keeping the cluster and virtual machines (VMs) up and running, delivering optimal performance and availability. Software-defined infrastructure is changing the way data services are delivered, making companies more efficient and agile, and reducing costs. But the software—no matter how powerful—cannot do anything alone. It depends on a hardware foundation that impacts the efficacy of your infrastructure. Sure, you can save money by using commodity x86 hardware—but that will also define the manageability, reliability, performance, and support of your HCI deployment. Hardware abstraction is a given with HCI, but what does that mean? It simply means data tasks are managed through software, and can therefore be done on different hardware platforms. It does not mean that hardware doesn’t matter; on the contrary, the hardware and software are interdependent. To get the best results, the entire stack should be validated to handle the varying demands of different enterprise applications. While commodity hardware can get you some of the benefits of HCI, a high-quality hardware foundation can get you more. Dell EMC intellectual property makes the difference in the XC Series. It uses PowerEdge hardware designed specifically for HCI, pre-integrated with Nutanix software, and with purpose-built configurations tailored to HCI workloads. Leveraging the vast experience and expertise of Dell EMC storage engineers, the XC Series delivers a high-quality foundation that works together holistically.
Organizations are attracted to HCI primarily for its simplicity—it is easy to deploy, providing a fast onramp for virtualization. With compute and storage resources in a single footprint, the central control reduces management effort and cost, as do software-defined data services. IT no longer has to manage LUNs and RAID groups on external storage connected via SAN; they may opt instead for the internal storage of HCI that can include enterprise-class storage features. HCI provides a common platform for multiple virtualized applications, instead of requiring a different server for each workload, and is easy to upgrade and to scale. ESG research with midmarket and enterprise organizations supports the notion that efficiency and cost are key drivers of HCI. The percentage of respondents deploying HCI has more than doubled since 2015, from 15% to 39%, 1 with and additional 18% expressing imminent interest in the technology. Also, 44% view HCI as the best vehicle for them to become more “cloud-like,” to deliver IT as a service and reap the cost, efficiency, and agility benefits. When asked about their reasons for deploying it, ESG research respondents selected scalability, TCO, ease and speed of deployment, simplified systems and storage management, agility of VM provisioning, and reduce operational expenses, placing these in the top ten most popular responses.