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  • Zimmawu Robert Reeves

How hyper-converged infrastructure works

Hyper-convergence mixes storage, computing, and networking into one system in an attempt to scale back information center quality and increase quantifiability. Enterprises select an integrated hyper-convergence infrastructure (HCI) appliance from one merchant or hardware-agnostic hyper convergence software package. This structure embraces a hypervisor for virtualized computing, software-defined storage, and virtualized networking, and they usually run on normal, off-the-rack servers. Multiple nodes may be clustered along to make pools of shared computing and storage resources, which are designed for convenient consumption.

HCI converges the whole information center stack together with computing, storage, storage networking, and virtualization. Advanced and costly legacy infrastructure is replaced by a platform running on turnkey, industry-standard servers that enable enterprises to begin small and then scale one node at a time. Software systems running on every server node distributes all operational functions across the cluster for superior performance and resilience. In other words, a hyper-converged platform usually integrates computing, storage and networking with a typically intelligent and automatic software system-defined information center (SDDC) management system and software layer that defines the operational aspects of that infrastructure.

Not all SDDC architectures are hyper-converged and neither are those that feature disparate, nonintegrated hardware platforms and elements. A hypervisor designed or modified by the seller specifically to be configured with its product orchestrates storage, computing, and networking provisioning. As a result, a hyper-converged system virtualizes all resources - those resources are adjusted to accommodate additional or less virtual machines (VMs) on the fly without having to suspend the activity of any VM running at the time. Once the quantity of VMs has reached the capability of the hyper-converged infrastructure, scaling is as simple as adding a lot of nodes, and new nodes may be added to the overall storage pool to be shared among the VMs. Single-pane-of-glass management provides directors with a comprehensive read of the state of the IT surroundings they're managing by integration and presenting information from various data sources in a console that unifies setup, configuration, management, and observation.

Hyper-converged vendors usually build-in information protection with mirroring, replication, striping, and erasure coding for reliability and data reduction functions. This can be used as additional backup and recovery, disaster recovery (DR) and different business continuity (BC) options. Bundled software systems also usually include support for automation, VM migration, management tools, load- and resource-balancing, and also the ability to implement rolling updates while VMs continue to run. Automatic failover means that losing a PC node or memory device won't bring down individual VMs or the system as a whole.

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