Hyperconverged infrastructure has become one of the most popular data center architectures now. Gartner expects the hyperconverged systems to become 24 percent of the integrated systems market by 2019.  Many companies find they achieve significant advantages from this architecture, including reduced costs and easier provisioning and support, but before investing, companies should evaluate potential solutions carefully along these 5 areas:

1. Will the hyperconverged infrastructure support your use case?

Before you invest in hyperconverged infrastructure, you should have a specific use case in mind you make sure your chosen solution will be effective for your scenario. Common use cases include supporting virtual desktop infrastructure, remote or branch offices, test and development environments, and backup and disaster recovery (DR) support. Depending on your purpose for the hyperconverged infrastructure and the physical location where the devices will be deployed, you should consider basic requirements such as electrical and HVAC loads and the availability of an on-site support team.

2. How will hyperconverged infrastructure integrate with your existing infrastructure?

While hyperconverged infrastructure is highly integrated, it doesn’t always integrate well with existing infrastructure. As a result, while the support for hyperconverged infrastructure can enable a flatter support team related to that infrastructure (there’s no need for separate storage and server support teams), the hyperconverged infrastructure can become a silo surrounded by legacy, traditional data center equipment.

3. Can you benchmark the hyperconverged infrastructure to assess efficiency and performance?

While all hyperconverged infrastructure shares certain commonalities, the differences in vendors’ implementations mean that hyperconverged platforms can differ in terms of performance, ease of management, and ease of support and scalability. Before committing to a specific product, create a test plan and evaluate it along criteria such as:

  • CPU performance
  • I/O rates and tiered storage
  • hypervisor support
  • data deduplication and compression
  • replication and data protection
  • scalability

4. What availability does the hyperconverged infrastructure offer?

Assess the high availability, backup, and disaster recovery features of the solution and make sure they satisfy your service level agreements (SLAs) with your end users. Evaluate multiple failure scenarios, including node failures and disk failures to understand the impact on performance. Understand how the product’s backup features integrate with your existing backup and recovery tools and process.

5. How easy will the new infrastructure be to manage?

Your organization will have to cope with significant changes during and after the migration period, including changes in SLAs, backup and DR procedures, and support responsibilities. If the product can integrate with your existing monitoring and management software, supporting it will be simpler. Make sure the growth path for the product matches your future needs.

Ask the Right Questions

Your specific situation should determine the questions you ask as well as determine the right hyperconverged infrastructure solution for your environment. dcVAST has deep experience with hyperconverged infrastructure and vendor partnerships that allow us to offer high levels of expertise and support. Contact us to learn more about the right questions to ask to make sure you gain the benefits of hyperconverged infrastructure.

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