While many organizations are moving toward hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) models for a variety of reasons, there are some areas that need to be considered when mapping out your own storage solution with an HCI approach.First of all—there are two main driving forces toward HCI: cost savings and efficiency gains. Many software-defined HCI storage solutions are designed to run on commodity hardware, which means many organizations can either repurpose existing hardware or purchase lower-cost commodity x86 compliant storage – and let the hypervisor layer determine the storage operation and function—something typically done by bare-metal, storage specific hardware that was often proprietary. With solutions like VMware vSAN demonstrating 50% cost savings over industry-leading proprietary equipment—it’s no wonder CIOs are looking towards HCI as a storage solution of the future. 1
The efficiency gains promised by HCI storage solutions come mainly in increased storage performance and reductions in operating expenses. A large part of this savings comes from the common management and administration of a virtualization platform that covers all three pillars of the traditional data center: compute, storage, and network. However, the interweaving of all components of the data center into a hyper-converged infrastructure also means IT departments need to take careful note of how the network and the storage will interact.