Covering Disruptive Technology Powering Business in The Digital Age

Home > Archives > Blog > Five Compelling Use Cases of HCI
Five Compelling Use Cases of HCI
November 24, 2021 Blog


Data centres have truly come a long way from their days as clunky storage rooms that contained large, looming mainframes. That is no longer the case now with modern technologies rendering legacy data centres obsolete, replaced by more sophisticated, more space-efficient and more practical and economical digital solutions. One gaining traction nowadays, in particular, is what’s known as hyperconverged infrastructure or, simply, HCI.

The HCI is, to a certain extent, the next frontier in data centre solutions, with its software-centric architecture enabling the all-in-one-system integration of storage, compute, networking and management—all elements of a traditional data centre. The result is a significant reduction in data centre complexity, improved scalability and better flexibility and agility, where public cloud can be leveraged but without necessarily relinquishing control of on-premises hardware.

It goes without saying that in today’s hypercompetitive business landscape, the heterogeneous, oftentimes interoperable mix that is the traditional data centre is no longer worth the trouble. That’s because organisations are better off when their IT teams are doing actual value-adding work rather than dealing with the deployment, integration and management challenges of having legacy data centres. And given the advantages of having an HCI, it is easy to see why modern businesses have adopted it or are planning to do so.

Having said that, the following use cases will best explain why HCI is the next frontier for data centres and why it is a logical choice for today’s businesses.

  1. Data Centre Consolidation

At its core, an HCI’s main benefit is that it consolidates storage, compute and hypervisor, thus eliminating outdated date centre architecture and reducing the IT environment’s complexity. Hyperconverged solutions like HPE SimpliVity, in particular, enable data reduction through deduplication and compression, which translates to overall less capacity and hardware utilisation.

Constant data reduction then reduces the components an organisation’s IT team needs to manage, with the HCI eliminating the need for WAN accelerators, separate backup software, deduplication appliances and SD arrays.  As a result, the IT team can focus more on the business and do more tasks that can actually help in income generation and in improving business processes and workflows.

  1. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Computers, whether PCs or laptops, are part and parcel of any modern business, and it used to be that each would need a subscription to the OS the company is using. Those days are a thing of the past with the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), a desktop virtualisation technology that runs a data centre-managed OS. The HCI, incidentally, is the ideal infrastructure to deploy the VDI as the former enables the kind of linear resource scalability needed by the latter if it is to keep up with growth.

Storage performance, another pressing challenge to VDI environments, is also addressed by HCI systems by leveraging either flash storage only or a combination of flash storage and spinning disk in a hybrid storage configuration. The HCI also enables efficient cache deduplication of desktop systems, which all but eliminates system slowdowns during boot and login storms. Critically, an HCI guarantees data protection and availability, along with backup and replication for users’ persistent desktops. In turn, complete loss of the primary data centre, won’t be crippling as users’ desktops are replicated to a secondary site, allowing them to pick up from where they left off.

  1. Supporting Edge Computing

The HCI is transformative to ROBO—Remote Office/Branch Office environments in that it enables not only full visibility but also centralised administrative capabilities on all sites, whether on on-site edge devices or on those used remotely. Additionally, the HCI’s simple building block architecture allows IT to increase both data capacity and performance with every node, while the data reduction feature available in some HCIs eliminates the need to add storage capacity frequently.

What’s more, an HCI that can compress data fully, deduplicate it and then work with it in its reduced form to allow an organisation to replicate branch office data to other branches even over slow WAN connections or for remote locations. This leads to two benefits: Firstly, on-site staff need not perform specific IT maintenance tasks anymore; secondly, the likelihood of successful recovery after a disaster is increased significantly.

  1. Tier 1/Dedicated Application Support

Tier 1 applications are oftentimes the very applications that have something to do directly with making the business a profit. It is for this reason that they are, for the most part, the most demanding applications in the data centre. It should come as no surprise then that these Tier 1 applications are infrastructure intensive, in that they necessitate lots of resources for them to be able to deliver significant business value.

With an HCI virtualising these mission-critical applications, organisations are guaranteed to have enough resources for the real-time, high-performance deployment of any and all Tier 1 workloads—as needed, where needed. HCI can also guarantee scalability. Next-Gen HCI solutions from HPE, for instance, are powered by Artificial Intelligence that can help determine when and where, in particular, an organisation needs to scale. And in case the organisation is, indeed, growing, it can simply add nodes to the system to add more storage capacity, storage performance, CPU and RAM all at the same time. That’s not to mention the benefits of having data protection capabilities and the ability to manage the hyperconverged environment from a single administrative console.

  1. Test and Development Environments

An HCI is the perfect platform for test and development, as it can add test/dev capabilities to organisations that have none to begin with. It also helps organisations keep up with today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving landscape by enabling a production-like environment that guarantees quick turnaround times for incremental tasks.

In an HPE SimpliVity environment, in particular, special management skills are not at all required, thereby allowing the organisation to focus solely on application development. Specifically, the organisation can clone production and integration environments, push changes to production and gain cloud-like elasticity—all in a matter of hours or even just minutes.

Indeed, hyper-convergence is the next step in the evolution of IT architecture, and HPE SimpliVity is reimagining what this infrastructure can do, making it all the more transformative. Hence, the time is now to capitalise on the power and potential of hyper-convergence and gain its many benefits, from enterprise-grade performance, next-level data protection, guaranteed resiliency and unprecedented agility and cloud economics.

Click here to find out more about how HPE SimpliVity can transform your organisation’s data centre or get in touch with Ingram Micro for queries and pricing quotations.