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3 Factors to Consider to Compare Hyperconverged Vendors


bigstock-Balance-Weighing-Two-Spheres-129158165.jpgThe hyperconverged market is the fastest growing segment in IT and the market is flooded with vendors big and small, old and new. Whether your company has a consolidation initiative, a VDI project, a need for simple and reliable data protection, or are just curious, hyperconverged infrastructure is worth exploring. But where should you start? How do you evaluate all the different vendors? What criteria should you look for? 

TechTarget has published a Business Comparison whitepaper involving several hyperconverged players which can provide some guidance. 

Comparing Hyperconverged Infrastructure Options for Virtualized Environments” assesses Cisco, NetApp, Nutanix, and HPE SimpliVity. This is a great way to get quick stats on who does what. It sets a level playing field by explaining the evolution of hyperconvergence and offering a summarized definition:

“Hyperconvergence, a true consolidation of all IT below the hypervisor, has evolved as the next level of convergence. Such solutions deliver optimized management and performance, and some also support built-in data protection. Simply combining the server and storage layers didn’t do enough to make infrastructure more affordable from either a Capex or Opex perspective, nor did it sufficiently improve performance, resiliency and data protection.”

The quote above identifies the three common enterprise capabilities that customers should investigate to ensure they are getting the most out of their hyperconverged infrastructure:

Data efficiency is an important decision-making factor when considering hyperconverged infrastructure because of how much data has grown over the last several years and how difficult it has become to maintain traditional storage infrastructure. Most converged or hyperconverged vendors say they have built-in data efficiency capabilities to address this issue – though they are only truly efficient in certain deployments and datacenter size. Therefore, you’ll want to understand how each hyperconverged vendor optimizes data efficiency and whether they guarantee data efficiency results. The HPE SimpliVity 380 powered by Intel® hyperconverged solution guarantees 10:1 data efficiency though most customers see a median ratio of 40:1.

Data protection should always be something you consider, as data is your company’s most valuable asset (next to you of course). Retention policies and service level agreements are becoming stricter each year, so hyperconverged vendors are trying to lighten the management burden of building and keeping up with a solid data protection plan. There are some vendors who include simple functionalities within their product but do not integrate backups or replication with core data efficiency functions like deduplication and compression. That means you’ll understand how to piece together other third-party apps or appliances to get a full data protection and disaster recovery solution. HPE SimpliVity, on the other hand, provides proven built-in VM backup, multi-site replication, recovery and cloning, disaster recovery, and file level restore in all solutions.

Resiliency is important to consider as well since knowing which hyperconverged solution takes a strategic and bulletproof approach to protect against data loss and the risk of a component failure will help your evaluation process. Of course, you’ll want the best protection possible without needing to implement or establish more nodes than your environment really needs. When evaluating solutions, ask vendors how many nodes are required for high availability, and how many drive failures can they withstand on those nodes. HPE SimpliVity’s intra-node RAID6 configuration for SAS drives can handle two drive failures on each node, for instance, which provides great resiliency.

All three examples are part of HPE SimplIVity’s Hyperguarentee. Additionally, there are still several other components to consider when evaluating hyperconverged vendors. Some of the other components include workload mobility, simplified management, and if policies are VM-centric or abstracted from the infrastructure.

And, when in doubt, always read up on a vendor’s customer references or third-party reference sites, like Gartner Peer Insights, to uncover what deploying the vendor’s technology is actually like.

TechTarget concludes their whitepaper by explaining, “IT professionals are looking for even more in a hyperconverged solution. This is where HPE SimpliVity solutions stand apart. HPE SimpliVity architecture's global inline deduplication, built-in data protection and global unified management offers better cost efficiency, increased resilience, and more simplified management than solutions from Cisco or Nutanix.”

Get each side-by-side comparison of the hyperconverged vendors by downloading the TechTarget Comparing Hyperconverged Infrastructure Options Virtualized Environments paper here

And for more information on hyperconvergence, download the free e-book: Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Dummies


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Converged Infrastructure

Jond Kemal

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