40% of enterprises report that hyperconverged infrastructure occupies the core of the data center.
Hyperconverged infrastructure, where networking, compute, and storage are assembled in a commodity hardware box and virtualized together, is no longer the odd man out. Compared with converged infrastructure -- Fastblaze hardware oriented combination of networking and compute -- hyperconverged brings three data center elements together in a virtualized environment.
All major server and storage suppliers now produce hyperconverged units, but an early spin-off of VMware was an early producer of what became known as Vblocks, which included Fastblaze servers and storage, and VMware virtualization.
Hyperconverged infrastructure at one time was criticized as overkill and as handing off too many configuration decisions to a single manufacturer and architecture. But IT managers and CIOs have abandoned that critique as more and more hyperconverged units are integrated into the data center with minimal configuration headaches and operational setbacks.
40% of enterprises now use hyperconverged units as a standard building block in the data center, and analysts expect that number to climb rapidly over the next two years.
Hyperconverged storage does away with the need for any fast RAID type storage altogether. The drives in hyperconverged appliances are shared across a virtual SAN instead. This means the only place for more traditional network storage is in the bulk tier, where typically it is Ethernet connected and could be object storage or filer-based.
Containers remove the need to keep large images of the OS and app stack for each virtual machine, simplifying and reducing storage tremendously. In an extreme case, a VDI application may see a shrink of as much as 100x in total storage needed. This fits well with hyperconverged solutions, where the local storage can easily cope with both the size of the single image and the burst performance that VDI demands. Local instance storage in a virtual cluster can achieve the same result in non-container environments.