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HCI Good for Storage Manufacturers and Data Centers Alike


March 24, 2016

The need for increased speed and the availability of better server processors in smaller form-factors have come together to create the emerging trend of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) in the data center.

With traditional converged infrastructure, vendors and resellers have taken the various components of the data center and delivered them pre-integrate and pre-configured.

HCI is similar but pulled together even more tightly than the converged infrastructure it now is starting to replace. With HCI, the entire stack of software, server and storage is converged into a 1U appliance that can be clustered together in a scale-out architecture. This brings the benefits of converged infrastructure but with less complexity and cost.

More importantly, eliminating an FC network by using HCI brings an additional benefit of reduced latency because the data and application are all on a single, highly virtualized platform.

This reduced latency makes HCI quite attractive, and the move to HCI is possible for the first time largely on the back of improved CPU systems from Intel and others. As a recent research note by Macquarie Research’s Rajesh Gha noted, “X86 server CPUs are now powerful enough to not only host multiple virtual servers comfortably but also host distributed file systems and other data management software without a hit to performance.”

This has opened the door for HCI systems, and companies such as HP Enterprise and Cisco should be reaping the benefits as much as their data center customers. Companies such as HPE, Cisco, Lenovo, Hitachi and Fujitsu have a substantial upside from the technology.

“Over the next 10 years we estimate HCI to become the preferred form of storage for 30 percent of all enterprise servers and replace a corresponding amount of mid-range enterprise storage,” noted Gha. “Considering mid-range storage is about 50 percent of the total External Enterprise Storage market (IDC), we estimate HCI delivered Storage could replace 15 percent of the overall External Disk based Storage market.”

This is good news for HPE and others that serve the market – And for the data center, of course. Reduced latency and complexity is what every data center wants, after all.




Edited by Maurice Nagle

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