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Hyper-convergence: Benefits, challenges and use cases

SearchCIO's Hyper-converged infrastructure infographic provides an at-a-glance look at the technology's benefits, drawbacks and key enterprise applications.

Hyper-converged technology offers computing, storage, networking and virtualization in a unified package.

This approach aims to challenge traditional three-tier data center architecture in which servers, storage arrays and networking equipment are purchased independently and managed via platform-specific administrators. Hyper-convergence benefits include easier acquisition, smaller footprint and simplified management.

While the size and management advantages are fairly straightforward, the economic benefits of hyper-converged technology are a little harder to pinpoint. That's particularly the case when it comes to a hardware comparison: Some industry executives believe the cost of hyper-converged hardware offerings may be somewhat less expensive than conventional hardware, but not significantly so. Others question whether any hardware savings exist.

The cost edge of hyper-converged technology appears to accrue over the long haul, from a total cost of ownership perspective. The data center space savings and reduced administrative burden add up to the point that some industry watchers argue that hyper-convergence benefits can outshine the public cloud in some applications.

At any rate, hyper-converged technology presents a data center option for CIOs looking to replace aging equipment, support new applications or extend IT resources to remote offices or locations. The technology may be delivered in the form of a hyper-converged appliance or as a software-only implementation.

Hyper-convergence benefits are ultimately in the eye of the beholder. So, you'll have to ask a lot of questions and kick the tires yourself to see if the technology can make a difference in your organization. While you're at it, SearchCIO's hyper-convergence infrastructure infographic provides an at-a-glance overview of the technology and the quick takes of CIOs and tech execs including Phil Bertolini, Craig McKesson and Peter O'Halloran.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Next Steps

Gain insight from an overview of the hyper-convergence market.

Learn more about hyper-converged appliances.

Read about hyper-convergence benefits in cloud storage integration.

Dig Deeper on Enterprise systems management