Is hyper-converged infrastructure a must have for digital transformation?

Is hyper-converged infrastructure a must have for digital transformation?

Factor in these issues when evaluating an HCI solution.

Digital transformation is bringing about a sea change in the way enterprises deploy technology. The new workloads that arise out of the transformation will require enterprises to make infrastructural changes to improve functionality and efficiencies. Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is fast emerging as an option that delivers increased cost savings and superior performance.

What distinguishes HCI is that, unlike the earlier converged 3-tier architecture, it tightly integrates various resources including compute, storage and virtualization. While converged infrastructure relied more on hardware building blocks, HCI is software defined. Consequently the architecture is more scalable, agile, and flexible as compared to converged infrastructure.

According to various reports the HCI market is expected to grow to almost USD 13 billion by 2022. It is expected that much of this growth will be driven by enterprises’ digital transformation initiatives. HCI’s advantages are numerous. The technology has the potential to provide the compute, storage and other requirements for a number of new technologies enterprises are looking to embrace.

Latency and scalability
A digitally transformed world is all about responding in real time to customer needs. Next generation workloads will be about deploying new technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing, cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive or prescriptive analytics. In such a scenario, issues like latency and scalability become critical. HCI addresses these effectively.

Transitioning from legacy IT and processes
One of the biggest barriers to digital transformation is legacy IT infrastructure and processes. HCI offers enterprises a middle path that helps them modernise their infrastructure without sacrificing their investments in key applications.

Automation
Enterprises today are automating a whole range of tasks for increased productivity and performance. HCI comes with many built in automation capabilities. These help IT teams to save on the time they normally spend on managing infrastructure, provisioning and integrating applications.

Building a future-proof platform
Digital technologies are all about change and scale that require enterprises to keep catering to new demands. This requires enterprises to ensure that they have a platform that scales with the demands while keeping costs down. HCI has the potential to keep up to changing requirements in processing power and associated requirements.

However, HCI comes with its own issues and drawbacks. Enterprises need to factor the following issues while evaluating a HCI solution.

Vendor lock-in
Buying an HCI solution is like buying a car. You are stuck with it for many years and have to keep going back to the vendor whenever there is a problem. It’s important that your vendor is well established and is capable of providing support whenever you encounter a problem.

Total cost of ownership
HCI is all about doing more with lesser costs. But if you are not careful in choosing a vendor you could end up spending a lot more than you should. It’s important to do a thorough cost benefit analysis before finalising on a solution. It’s also important to do a proper RoI calculation before hedging your bets on HCI.

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