The basics of hyperconvergence. Here's what it is and why your customers should care about it.

Hyperconvergence offers great opportunities for customers and resellers alike, but it’s crucial to understand the fundamentals first.

While hyperconvergence has been an industry buzzword for some time, the last 12 months have seen a growing recognition among organisations of the operational and cost efficiencies the technology can provide. So, what is hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), and why should your customers be excited by it?

Transforming the data centre

Put simply, hyperconvergence can enable cloud-like economics and scale while maintaining the performance, reliability and availability of the data centre. A software-centric architecture, it merges storage, servers and virtualisation technologies into a single stack, to provide organisations with a number of operational and cost benefits.

For example, HCI eliminates ongoing maintenance fees for ancillary appliances and services. Also, consolidating multiple systems into a hyperconverged application can, in some cases, reduce the footprint of devices in the datacentre, cutting floor space, power and cooling costs due to reduced hardware requirements.

Moreover, HCI lowers – or redirects – costs for technical IT personnel by simplifying operations. There isn’t the complexity or anything to ‘manage’ with hyperconvergence; it’s a self-service model and managed all with a single interface.

Improved management

Ultimately, organisations are looking for increased agility, and solutions that are easier to manage that simplify the data centre, and HCI delivers that. With HCI, companies can simply plug in the new application, add it to an existing resource pool, and begin using it.

HCI’s appeal is reflected in the technology’s adoption to date. ActualTech Media’s 2016 State of the Hyperconverged Infrastructure Market Report states that HCI saw a 54% increase in companies adopting hyperconverged infrastructure worldwide between 2015-2016.

Interestingly, the report also found that organisations in EMEA are outpacing the rest of the world in adoption of HCI with a 70% increase in adoption in the region year-over-year. Of specific interest to resellers, hyperconvergence is no longer restricted to the enterprise market, with an 80% year-on-year increase in midmarket adoption, worldwide.

Hyperconvergence becomes mainstream

HCI is also moving beyond niche use cases to the mainstream. While virtualised desktop infrastructure (VDI) used to be the primary use case for hyperconvergence, more recently the technology is now enjoying broad use case and workload support.

There has never been more interest in hyperconvergence. While the technology was pioneered by a handful of start-ups that were intent on disrupting the server and storage ecosystem, today it is a highly competitive space with the world’s largest technology vendors recognising its potential and bringing their own HCI solutions to market, too.

However, it’s still important to be aware of the hype that surrounds any new technology. While analyst firm Gartner predicts it will be fully mainstream within five years, it’s up to the reseller to judge if HCI is the right for for their customers’ own business needs.

Conclusion

It’s important that resellers, VARs and managed service providers work with IT vendors to gain a thorough understanding of the solutions they are selling, and how they can provide value to their customers.

With its continued shift into the mainstream, it’s imperative that you can have the conversation with your customers about hyperconvergence – before one of your competitors can.

Takeaways

  • HCI adoption is accelerating and is moving beyond niche use cases to the mainstream. With this increased popularity, now is the right time for your customers to take advantage.
  • Companies are seeking ways to simplify IT and reduce costs. Hyperconvergence integrates networking, compute and storage which eliminates hardware costs.
  • Operational efficiency has emerged as a key benefit of hyperconvergence and should be pitched to your customers correctly.
  • With all major vendors offering HCI solutions, resellers have more than enough opportunity to start selling hyperconverged solutions.

The Trusted Advisor Blueprint: A definitive guide to hyper-convergence