The VAR Guy Blog

Storage & HCI: Bolted on vs. Built-in

HCI, or Hyper-Converged infrastructure, is a compelling pathway to the next-generation data center and, ultimately, digital transformation.

Customers are finding more and more reasons to adopt Hyper-Converged technology, and, not surprisingly, more and more vendors are adding the “hyper converged” moniker to their wares. This is especially true when it comes to storage. Choice is always a good thing, but your expertise can help customers decide whether it makes sense to implement HCI solutions that integrate with existing infrastructure or to bolt new products on.

HCI, or Hyper-Converged infrastructure, is a compelling pathway to the next-generation data center and, ultimately, digital transformation. A well-architected HCI solution can increase efficiency, improve flexibility and reduce TCO across the data center—without sacrificing performance or availability.

HCI does this by enabling companies to converge physical storage onto industry-standard x86 servers. It should be seamless, but that depends in large part on some of the choices your customers make when buying HCI-capable systems. What doesn’t work very well? Buying different solutions from different vendors, resulting in a hodgepodge of management consoles and reporting structures--not to mention security issues.

It’s important to look for a storage platform that seamlessly plugs into virtualization, creating a hyper-converged solution that works with existing hardware, software and skill sets. After all, HCI is a cornerstone of the software-defined data center. It’s all about leveraging the hypervisor to support compute, storage and networking, but there are different levels of leverage. Companies need to determine whether (and how well) new storage systems will work with their virtualization platforms, and vice versa.

Customers can get up and running quickly with HCI, and can easily scale, as their business needs change by streamlining the management of critical infrastructure. VMware vSAN, for example, is software-defined storage embedded directly in the tried-and-true and widely used vSphere. vSAN virtualizes the storage layer by abstracting and pooling direct-attached storage devices into shared storage, effectively delivering storage data services ranging from snapshots to deduplication.

With version 6.6 of vSAN, your customers get native HCI security, highly available stretched clusters, and 50 percent higher all-flash performance, meeting the needs of a wide variety of business-critical and next-generation workloads.

Find out more on what’s new with vSAN 6.6.

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