OpenStack Taking the “Hype” Out of Hyper-converged

By Mike Yang, President of Quanta Cloud Technology (QCT)

It would be easy to dismiss the marketplace noise surrounding hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) as hyped-up exaggerations from over-enthusiastic marketers—more puff and potential than substance. But if you look more closely, you can see the substance in HCI.

Let’s start with Facebook, Google, and Amazon. These companies figured out long ago that conventional data center architectures—those with dedicated or “siloed” compute farms and storage systems—could not keep up with their rapid expansion, because that architecture limited scalability and made capital investments and operating expenses skyrocket. So these web giants turned to hyper-converged architecture: converging compute, storage, and networking capabilities into each server, and then managing massive buildouts of server clusters with proprietary software.

Today, the advantages of HCI are finding  their way into organizations with much smaller data center footprints than the hyperscale giants. OpenStack is playing an increasingly important role here, bringing with it the promises of plug-and-go, improved performance and significant cost savings.

OpenStack is a promising hyper-converged option because it takes the “proprietary management software” element out of play and brings harmony to the interconnected system, enabling it to be managed as one holistic solution serving both storage, compute, and networking needs. There are options for enterprise data center operators from several hardware providers and distro supporters.

Using economical open source hardware and OpenStack APIs as the functional heart of a software-defined, hyper-converged infrastructure, we can create low-cost and flexible data center building blocks, able to be deployed and configured very quickly. This makes the “out-of-the-box” cloud with easy installation and rapid deployment a reality.

HCI also offers high performance and high reliability. A hyper-converged architecture aggregates storage, delivering benefits that can include reduced latency and maintenance complexity. Moreover, with the high degree of automation possible with HCI, cloud operations is simplified and administrative overhead is reduced.

As you can see, whether enterprises are running public, private, or hybrid clouds, they can capitalize on the performance, scalability, and low TCO that hyper-converged infrastructure offers.

Quanta Cloud Technology (QCT) is a pioneer in hyper-converged infrastructure. We believe hyper-converged infrastructure is the next era of data center design, and we’re dedicated to ushering it in.

Through our partnerships with OpenStack SDI vendors, we are developing, testing, and validating hyper-converged infrastructure hardware and solutions which are powered by Intel® Xeon® processors at our US Cloud Solution Center in San Jose. Already we have introduced a hyper-converged infrastructure offering that combines QCT hardware—including Open Compute servers, storage, networking switches, and racks—with virtualization and cloud software options by VMware, Canonical, Red Hat, Microsoft, and Mirantis, among others. We’d be happy to talk to you about what solutions are best for your needs.

I’m looking forward to discussing hyper-converged infrastructure at OpenStack Days Silicon Valley as I participate in a fireside chat with Randy Bias (EMC) and Sean Roberts (Walmart). We’ll be chatting about “The State of OpenStack on Open Hardware” on Wednesday, August 10, at 2:40 pm.  I hope you’ll attend and bring your thoughts to share.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Big Ed Mustapha.

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