Traditionally, enterprise IT infrastructures were designed around Storage Area Networks (SAN) and Network-attached storage (NAS) on dedicated networking equipment, using separate, dedicated Ethernet switches and large scale-up compute systems to provide network connectivity. These systems were difficult to manage and required an onsite specialist to oversee the systems.
Over the last decade, technological advances such as hypervisors and private cloud have changed the way the data centre is designed.
Converged infrastructure harnessed pre-configured building blocks to simplify the provisioning process. The blocks packaged together converged ethernet, traditional shared storage, and a number of x86 servers, with specific management tools. While this type of infrastructure did simplify the procurement process, it wasn’t very efficient and increased the likelihood of over-provisioning.
Hyper-converged infrastructure delivers everything that converged infrastructure set out to do. By harnessing virtual servers and software-defined storage and networking, this technology means that small bricks with onboard computer and storage can be connected to form a large cluster, governed by a single hypervisor. Not only does this solution simplify management and deployment, but it also requires less hardware and therefore is suitable for small data centres, as well as large.
Hyperconverged infrastructure is widely adopted by enterprises of all sizes, who are deploying this technology as on-premise compute and storage. However, there is a significant shift towards hybrid cloud and edge integrations.
Composable infrastructure treats compute, storage, and network devices as pools of resources that can be provisioned as needed, depending on what different workloads require for optimum performance. It kind of works like a public cloud, where resource capacity is requested and provisioned from a shared capacity, but is an on-premise solution, sitting in the enterprise data centre.
The reasons that organizations are moving towards composable infrastructure solutions are that they need something that’s simple, flexible and prevents over-provisioning. But, this comes at a price. Pooling resources in one location and sharing them out over the network requires lots of hardware. For many organizations, particularly SMEs and edge computing environments with high site counts, composable infrastructure is an unrealistic solution. They’re constrained by budgets and the unfeasible nature of rolling out a high-quality network over long distances and many locations. However, a simple solution that provides flexibility and prevents over-provisioning, without costing a fortune is available. SvSAN is a lightweight virtual SAN solution that sits on-premise and is easy to manage.
Composable infrastructure will make large data centers and sites with good network connectivity more flexible and less likely to over-provision hardware. SvSAN is the perfect alternative, that achieves the same benefits, for sites that want to avoid large expenditure on networking or have weaker network connectivity.
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