Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Remote/Branch Offices & Edge Computing
By: Scott Aukema, Director of Digital Marketing, ViON Corporation
Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is playing a significant role in building an enterprise multi-cloud environment. The benefits are well documented – you can learn more about them in a new white paper developed in collaboration with ViON, Fujitsu, and Nutanix, “Simplifying Multi-Cloud and Securing Mission Progress.” In addition to driving a cloud foundation, hyperconverged infrastructure is driving other use cases. In our first blog, we examined the impact that HCI can have in a disaster recovery solution. In this installment, we’ll discuss how HCI is changing the dynamics for remote offices and edge computing.
Edge computing moves processing power closer to end-users and their devices, in contrast to a traditional, more centralized model, where resources reside within a data center. As applications such as advanced analytics become more resource intensive and latency is an issue, having servers, storage, networking and hypervisor software close to the data source can be a significant advantage.
Currently around 10 percent of enterprise-generated data is created and processed outside a traditional centralized data center or cloud, and by 2025, Gartner predicts this figure will reach 75 percent. They estimate that 40 percent of larger enterprises will adopt edge computing as part of their IT infrastructure in this timeframe. This is driven largely by the growth in raw data, where massive volumes are too large to transmit to a centralized architecture for timely processing.
Organizations are turning to hyperconverged infrastructure to simplify complexity for both hardware and virtualized environments. The nature of hyperconverged infrastructure makes it easy to use, eliminating many of the configuration and network challenges associated with edge computing. Benefits of HCI at the edge include1:
- High-density compute and storage resources are self-contained, easily deployable, and have a small footprint;
- Integrated hardware & software stack come preconfigured and can be easily managed as a single system remotely;
- Scalable architecture can easily scale up and out to support growth, and next-generation applications such as AI and IoT;
- Faster application performance for end-users and lower network latency with reduced WAN traffic.
Hyperconverged Infrastructure is well suited to keep pace with the rapid growth of data and the need to support multiple remote sites. This is especially true in environments that ingest or create massive data sets and need to conduct real-time or near real-time analysis of that data. In those instances, moving large scale data sets to a central data center is time consuming, inefficient, and can be costly. It is these instances that HCI is well positioned to enable organizations to ingest, analyze, and gain insights from data and quickly act on those insights when needed.
Many organizations don’t have IT support at their remote or branch offices. Edge computing is designed to run with limited, or no dedicated IT staff, which means the infrastructure must be easy to implement and manage. It has to connect quickly back to the primary data center and cloud when needed. These requirements are what make HCI well suited to edge computing. For IT organizations, hyperconverged infrastructure provides the flexibility to quickly stand up infrastructure in new sites, easily manage it from a single remote location and provide local users with high performance compute for critical resource intensive applications. For users, it provides the operational autonomy to gain insights at the source of data ingestion, rather than migrate data to a centralized data center.
Finally, consider HCI’s role in a hybrid multi-cloud environment. A model that has centralized on-prem data center infrastructure integrated with public, private, and hybrid clouds and micro data centers at the edge is an architecture that delivers on multiple fronts. When aligned with a robust cloud management platform, orchestration between the various environments becomes seamless, providing governance and management through a single interface. Organizations get the flexibility and efficiency of cloud computing tightly integrated with on-prem infrastructure to deliver the right level of performance, when and where it is needed.