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Hyperconverged with a twist: why disaggregated makes all the difference

It’s a couple of years since we covered the emergence of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and it’s easy to see why they’ve since emerged as a popular alternative to traditional three-tier infrastructure models. HCI offers businesses a flexible, scalable way to collapse all three tiers of their existing infrastructure – compute, storage and network – into a single converged appliance, unlocking a number of commercial and operational benefits in the process. You can scale back the amount of physical hardware required to reduce your footprint, and streamline the management of your entire infrastructure to alleviate the burden on your team. But invariably, as quickly as new innovations emerge to satisfy common IT challenges, the demands and expectations of IT teams also shift and expose new fallibilities.

More than ever, businesses must be agile and ready to meet new demands at speed – something HCI alone cannot always accomplish. To deliver this successfully, businesses must retain the principles of convergence but with solutions that offer even more flexibility. HCI must become disaggregated.

Why is dHCI the way forward?

Revolutionary as it once was, HCI doesn’t come without its limitations. Yes, it allows you to break down the silos of a three-tier infrastructure, but with storage, server and network nodes tied to a single appliance, these cannot be scaled independently. If you want to add more compute, then you have no choice but to add more network and storage capacity in tandem, even if this isn’t needed. This unnecessary overprovisioning can quickly become expensive, and can ultimately hold back plans for expansion to support transformation. Recovery time can also be a challenge, especially when you need to host mission-critical workloads with availability requirements of four nines or more.

To truly replace three-tier infrastructure, you need a solution that blends the operational advantages of convergence, and the isolated scalability of siloed infrastructure islands. Enter disaggregated hyperconverged offerings. With disaggregated hyperconverged infrastructure (dHCI) you can satisfy independent resource scaling and availability concerns, while unlocking the benefits of converged solutions.

Unlike HCI, dHCI splits out storage, compute and network into separate nodes that come together to create the single appliance. This allows you to more finely tune the ratio of compute, storage and network, which means you no longer need to pay for additional capacity in areas where it isn’t needed.

A pioneer in the world of dHCI: HPE Nimble Storage

As more businesses recognised the need for increased flexibility from converged infrastructure, HPE quickly emerged as a pioneer in this space with an innovative disaggregated offering built on the Nimble Storage family of solutions. By combining world-class ProLiant servers with Nimble Storage, Nimble dHCI takes hyperconvergence to the next level by separating out storage and compute nodes within the same converged appliance. Nimble’s all-flash and data reduction technologies also help you store more with less physical hardware to deliver further cost savings.

Why consider Nimble dHCI?

Scalable – By breaking out the individual components of your converged environment there’s no longer a need to scale compute, storage and network as one, making it easier to quickly add capacity without the need to overprovision.

Intelligent – A central component of Nimble Storage family, HPE has extended its intelligent InfoSight software to its dHCI offering. InfoSight collates and analyses data from millions of data points to gather insights that support faster identification, diagnosis and remediation of issues. This AI powered platform harnesses machine learning to provide exceptional automation capabilities.

Resilient – HPE’s InfoSight software delivers predictive analytics to diagnose problems and identify root cause before an issue emerges. With 99.9999% availability guaranteed, Nimble dHCI is all-flash and always on.

Cost effective – The ease of scale afforded by dHCI makes it a commercially attractive alternative to HCI.

Transformational – With the current shift towards remote or hybrid working, the use of virtual desktop solutions has become critical for many. As such, understanding how to support and deliver these services is a top priority. Nimble Storage dHCI’s Virtual Desktop Performance Infrastructure enables optimisation of resource performance, meaning you can accommodate double the number of virtual desktop environments within the same infrastructure resource.

Want to know if dHCI is right for you?

As more and more businesses look to transition away from traditional three-tiered models, there’s no doubt that disaggregated hyperconverged solutions such as Nimble dHCI offer a compelling infrastructure option. If you need help to decide whether HCI or dHCI is the best option for you or if you would like to learn more about HPE’s Nimble dHCI offering, and how it could help your business deploy a cost-effective and scalable infrastructure that’s ready for the future, simply get in touch with our team.