The IT room is an indispensable data management center for all companies. It can not only store customer information and transaction records, but also provide application systems for employees to perform operations and maintain operations. It also needs to store important confidential company information. However, building a traditional IT computer room requires a lot of cost and space. Because technological breakthroughs and hyper-converged architecture technology can help companies simplify management processes and reduce construction and maintenance costs, it has become the mainstream IT architecture in the future.
What is Hyper Converge Infrastructure?
"Hyper-converged infrastructure" is an IT term that combines the words "hyper-converged" and "infrastructure". Among them, "Infrastructure" refers to the provision of computing, storage, network connection, and other infrastructure services for the IT environment. "Hyper-convergence" is formed by adding Hyper to Converged Infrastructure, which means that it can provide further integration to converged architecture.
Hyper Converge Infrastructure (HCI) integrates computing, virtualization, storage, and networking into a single cluster. Starting from at least three nodes, users can easily expand the scale according to computing and storage resource requirements. Hyper-convergence provides cloud-like simplicity in a single platform that can be deployed on-premises and easily managed.
Hyper Converge Infrastructure is a software-defined unified system that integrates IT infrastructure with data center elements such as computing, storage, networking, and management. The distributed storage of the X86 server is adopted, and the distributed storage and computing virtualization are deployed in the same server hardware, replacing the complex and expensive traditional infrastructure. Enterprises use a hyper-converged architecture to expand the number of nodes in the server, and run software in different nodes, and operate all maintenance functions in a unified manner, with excellent performance and flexibility.
The components of the hyper-converged architecture:
- Storage virtualization
- Computing virtualization
- Network virtualization
- Advanced automated management functions
The virtualization software abstracts the underlying resources, creates a pool, and then dynamically allocates the resources to the application running in the virtual machine or container. It is based on the principle of conforming to the application, so no logic unit is required. Complex structures such as numbering and magnetic zones simplify management.
Key technologies of hyper-converged architecture
Advantages of hyper-converged architecture
Distributed storage architecture
Through data cutting, the huge amount of information is scattered and stored in multiple independent devices on the network. These are placed on the X86 server, and a set of convenient expansion kits is constructed, giving a very stable storage resource pool.
Solid State Drive SSD
SSD uses flash memory to store data, speed up the transmission speed, and greatly improve computer performance. SSD has the advantages of being lightweight, low energy consumption, quiet, and shock resistance. The random performance of SSD makes it able to operate at speeds as high as two orders of magnitude higher that other storage devices. Therefore, unlike the traditional three-tier architecture, additional rack space is required for the storage system, so that storage and computing nodes are integrated and easier to manage.
Another key technology to realize hyper-converged architecture technology is virtualization. With virtualization technology, distributed storage or storage virtualization solutions can be effectively used to truly utilize the physical hardware that integrates storage and computing on the x86 Server coexistence.
Central Processing Unit CPU
With the development of the CPU, with its higher performance and lower the manufacturing cost, sufficient performance can solve computing and storage requirements at the same time.
The management is simple and convenient, hardware cost and space occupied are reduced. Flexible expansion capabilities, suitable for developing small and medium-sized enterprises, depending on business needs, expand the system scale potentials.
Features of hyper-converged architecture
IT efficiency is higher and management is convenient
The hyper-converged architecture can eliminate manual processes making it no longer necessary to rely on dedicated personnel in the IT team for independent management. By adopting a converged IT team, resources can be monitored and managed at the same time. Storage functions can be improved, and IT resources can be dynamically configured in the form of a storage pool, providing the capacity, performance, and protection required by the system.
- Reduce costs, reduce hardware space, and store more data
Use the X86 server, the hyper-converged architecture can be expanded vertically or horizontally. There is no need to set up a dedicated network, so capital expenditures are reduced. Capacity can be directly increased without the need to increase the hardware configuration, and the system will not be interrupted. With the hyper-converged architecture, companies can build data centers of the appropriate scale based on their own needs, avoiding unnecessary system expenditures.
Strong expansion capability, suitable for small and medium enterprises
The hyper-converged architecture can quickly respond to business needs. The hardware configuration can be completed in just a few hours, and it can be put into operation within a few minutes to create workloads and improve the performance of key business applications such as relational databases.
Due to the high fault tolerance of the hyper-converged architecture, the low risk of data loss, and the short impact on the business, coupled with the advantages of a fast recovery and high degree of automation, system maintenance is simpler than traditional architecture.
How to use hyper-converged architecture?
Uses general-purpose server hardware to form the basic unit
Uses standard commercially available server hardware to form a basic unit that integrates computing and storage units.
Uses hardware resources in a software-defined way
Uses virtual machine (VM) as the core and software-defined type to use hardware resources. Resource deployment does not involve the adjustment of the configuration settings of the underlying physical hardware. The underlying hardware resources are planned and used purely in a software-defined manner, and then deliver the required resources to the end-user.
Through clustering or distributed storage software, multiple basic unit chassis are combined to form a cluster. This cluster provides the necessary hardware, service, and data availability to allow scalability of the IT environment.
Easy to deploy quickly
The product has completed the software and hardware installation test in advance, and the user only needs to set the basic environmental parameters to start using it.
The use of a hyper-converged architecture requires the use of the cloud. There are 3 steps from internal to external to integrate private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud applications:
What challenges can hyper-convergence overcome?
Build a private cloud:
Building a cloud infrastructure in the internal deployment environment can not only reduce costs, but also allow for more control, and increase the flexibility and agility of enterprises to deploy new applications, and indirectly improve security.
Connect to the public cloud:
Choose to connect the public cloud provided by hyper-converged architecture vendors to speed up deployment and reduce infrastructure management time.
Adopt hybrid cloud:
Use the hybrid cloud to manage various virtual machines and container applications in data centers, public clouds, and edge environments.
Digital transformation is the key to business success. The accompanying requirements include support for huge amounts of data, artificial intelligence (AI), and hybrid cloud while meeting the rapidly increasing demand of traditional workloads. Under the current IT infrastructure, the data center will be inefficient, due to dull permutations and combinations that are difficult to manage. Current data centers cannot meet the rapid improvement needs of enterprises and the cloud. HCI centralizes resources and management, which not only reduces costs and complexity but also reduces the burden on employees while improving efficiency.