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Converged and hyper converged systems offer compute, networking, and storage an easy-to-deploy and scalable form. Having a single point of contact when difficulties arise is a big positive to these systems. These systems also typically have a unified management interface, the result of the software which is the ‘secret sauce’ behind each offering. Since compute, storage, and network components are software-defined, managing them from a single pane of glass is a much simpler process than connecting with each component separately. An administrator can get a high-level view of how the system is running from the main dashboard, then drill down into the components to pinpoint desired performance data.

Evaluating Converged and Hyper Converged Systems

When evaluating converged and hyper converged systems, consider the manufacturers’ reputations for the various components, including the software. While some makers such as Nutanix have carved out a niche with their software, other well-known hardware manufacturers have made the focus their own hardware and partnered with another company to obtain the software piece of the solution. With appliance-based configurations, sometimes the maker of one or more of the components is left out of the discussion altogether.

For New Deployments

It is important to note that most often converged and hyper converged systems are new deployments – just because you have some of the pieces of a converged or hyper converged solution already in your data center doesn’t mean that you can necessarily connect your existing hardware and infrastructure and make it into a manufacturer-approved solution. An initial deployment has to be of a minimum size to ensure redundancy; afterwards, scalability of compute, storage etc. is more flexible.

To Approximate Converged with Existing Hardware

With software one can approximate a converged solution with existing x86 servers and storage. This DIY option is attractive when current hardware still has life left but an updated management interface is desired to streamline admin processes.

Cisco

HyperFlex

Cisco UCS Compute

Cisco Storage

Cisco Networking

Dell/EMC

VXrail Appliance

Dell PowerEdge Servers

VMware VSAN Storage

Vsphere Hypervisor

IBM

VersaStack

Cisco UCS Compute

IBM Storwize Storage

Cisco Networking

 

IBM + Nutanix

IBM Power servers

Nutanix software

IBM Storage

Lenovo + Nutanix

HX Series Appliances

Lenovo SystemX Compute

Lenovo Storage, Networking

Nutanix Software

NetApp

FlexPod

Cisco UCS Compute

NetApp Storage

Cisco Networking

DIY Options - Software Only

IBM Spectrum Accelerate

VMware VSAN

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