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Hyperconvergence by virtualization

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Despite this close coordination, the individual systems in convergent environments remain exactly that: individual systems consisting of a hardware level including the associated software. Several proprietary approaches often come together in a convergent appliance. Hyperconvergence goes one step further: the device intelligence that was previously in the individual components is being replaced by an intelligence that spans the entire IT infrastructure. In concrete terms, this means: The entire IT infrastructure is combined into a large overall appliance. A comprehensive management software takes over the central control and administration of all components.

What is HCI?

The basic technology for hyper-converged infrastructures (HCI) is virtualization, which is already actively used in most data centers. Not every server really needs a physical counterpart; rather, several virtual environments run without problems on the same hardware. A hypervisor forms the abstract intermediate level and dynamically distributes the resources provided as required. The existing capacities can thus be used much more effectively and flexibly. Each request is allocated free capacities accordingly. In principle, it does not matter on which hardware system the resources are actually physically located.

In a modern HCI architecture, the hardware provides all functionalities – from server to storage to the network – fully virtualized. The hypervisor acts as an interface and management software. It organizes the virtualization of all available resources and the load distribution of requests. Storage and network become software-defined components. This means that, for example, an external storage system no longer needs to be connected, but that all distributed, individual storage units are combined to form a virtual overall system. Similar to a cloud, users are largely not interested in which hardware resources are currently being used where – what they need is flexibly put together from the entire resource pool as required.

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