Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Hyper-Converged IT Making Inroads in Datacenters 

(Boiko Y/Shutterstock)

Infrastructure refresh projects centering on datacenter hyper-convergence are planned over the next 12 months by nearly half of respondents to an industry survey, underscoring the conclusion that virtualized infrastructure is entering the mainstream.

The survey of datacenter buying preferences released this week by converged IT vendor Maxta Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., also found that "general purpose infrastructure" upgrades were the preference of 36 percent of IT executives. Less than half of that total cited datacenter consolidation projects and cloud initiatives as top priorities.

A total of 421 responses to the Maxta-sponsored surveyed varied in terms of industry segments and company size. Nevertheless, "the challenges of datacenter complexity, storage performance and maintaining adequate capacity are remarkably common among them,” Mitch Seigle, Maxta's vice president of marketing, noted in a statement.

Despite the advent of virtualization, datacenter complexity was most often cited as a reason for considering hyper-converged infrastructure. Primary storage capacity was another, with 37 percent of respondents indicating they are having trouble maintaining sufficient storage capacity for emerging, data-intensive business workloads.

"Storage growth is among the top perennial challenges that organizations face, and it’s exacerbated by increasing demand from the business as well as new and sometimes onerous regulatory requirements," the survey's authors noted. "We do not expect this challenge to diminish for the foreseeable future."

Meanwhile, "hyper-converged infrastructure is now supporting mainstream workloads," the survey concludes. The prime targets for infrastructure vendors such as Maxta are large companies with more than 10,000 employees.

The survey forecasts that infrastructure refreshes will focus on software-defined storage, data reduction through de-duplication and compression and a combination of disk and flash storage. A hyper-converged infrastructure approach promises to "put a permanent end to the need to rip-and-replace datacenter infrastructure" while at the same time delivering enough performance to handle demanding workloads, the report stated.

The Maxta survey also found that just 21 percent of respondents have deployed hyper-converged infrastructure, trailing other industry surveys. That, it added, represents an opportunity: The deployment total "also means that there is ample opportunity for hyper-converged infrastructure vendors, particularly those that can help people solve their storage capacity challenges and that can simplify the datacenter environment," the survey authors argued.

The relatively low deployment figures also may indicate that enterprises, a slim majority who believe hyper-converged infrastructure is suited to general-purpose workloads, are "test driving" platforms in application-specific projects such as storage for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Fifteen percent of those surveyed agreed that VDI projects were a good fit for hyper-converged infrastructure while 13 percent recommended it for cloud deployments.

"Once they’ve discovered the potential benefits that come from the technology, many move in to deploy it for broader application support purposes," the survey authors asserted.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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