Unlike conventional converged infrastructure, where the storage component generally remains (partly) hardware-based, a hyperconverged infrastructure relies entirely on software. For example, an HCI includes a virtual storage area network or vSAN in addition to a virtualized network and a hypervisor for virtualized computer use. Read the IDC report on the business value of hyperconverged infrastructure here..
The software-defined storage of a vSAN like this provides a number of clear benefits that are not exclusive to the VxRail appliance from Dell EMC. In some cases, it facilitates better performance. An intrinsic benefit of the VMware vSAN storage solution – which is effectively embedded in VxRail – is the use of storage policy-based management. This allows you to define at a highly granular level the storage properties that each virtual disk should have in terms of performance and redundancy.
Another benefit is that you do not need to purchase or manage any separate storage equipment. Storage is already integrated into the Dell EMC PowerEdge servers. Meanwhile, all storage configuration and management is performed from a single central VMware interface or console. From a management perspective, this is extremely convenient – and this is in addition to the considerable time and efficiency gains it provides.
Not only does Dell Technologies know its own hardware and software combinations inside out, but – in its role as the manufacturer – it also sells packages of firmware and software that have been tested together. This makes a VxRail appliance so much easier to upgrade than any other solution that could be created manually using building blocks from different suppliers. After all, a hybrid solution requires you to check at every turn whether all the different components are compatible, and work out exactly which upgrade path is open to you. VxRail eliminates all these extra steps and unnecessary worries. Dell EMC provides you with a single upgrade package that includes everything and is consistently validated.
In summary, the extensive virtualization provided by the VxRail devices ensures that you only need one management platform for both the hardware and software layers of your infrastructure. The up-front capital investment (CAPEX) in an HCI solution such as VxRail is generally a bit more substantial. In return, though, it increases the efficiency of your infrastructure and reduces your operational costs (OPEX) over the longer term.
Could your company use this?
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