Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), a software-defined IT environment that virtualises all of the elements of the conventional data center, such as storage, networking and compute, is soaring in popularity among organisations and industries around the world.

“There are many reasons for this, including increased operational efficiencies, lowered costs and improved scaling,” says Thabo Sizani, business development manager for HPE at Axiz. “But perhaps the most compelling benefit of HCI is its ability to reduce complexity in the IT environment.”

He says the majority of organizations today are finding their current infrastructure too cumbersome and needing a lot of resources in terms of skills, time and money, to keep up and running. “Traditional architecture is ill-equipped to meet the increasing demands of enterprise applications or the rapid pace of modern business.

“And today, simplifying IT is more important than ever. Businesses are under pressure to transform digitally, and to do this they need to scrutinize the technology assets they currently have and look at what they are doing to use technology to become more flexible, agile and responsive to their customers.”

He says, unfortunately, the majority of legacy IT infrastructures are so siloed and complex that this has not been possible. “However, because HCI works on software-defined principles, and sees everything virtualized, automation of mundane and routine operations is achievable. It is because the technology department is no longer encumbered with multiple solutions from a variety of vendors; there is only a single, unified environment to manage.”

Sizani adds that with increased automation, comes increased efficiency, which in turn frees up resources and time to allow businesses to focus on activities that help them remain agile and ahead of the curve. “This is especially vital in the age of hybrid cloud, where organizations are looking to gain a competitive advantage by harnessing the flexibility of hybrid and multi-cloud.”

Another significant benefit of HCI, he says, is that it significantly lowers data and operational costs, without any significant disruption to business operations.

“The cost of entry for HCI systems is significantly lower than its legacy counterparts too, and these costs will only decrease further as the market gains traction. Remember, far less physical hardware is required in a software-defined environment, meaning that as new features are introduced, they can be pushed out as a release, without having to replace anything physically. Over-provisioning, another unfortunate side-effect of legacy infrastructure, is avoided as well.”

He says getting up and running is also far faster with HCI. “The pace of change today is unprecedented. IT departments have to be able to respond to business needs as quickly as possible, and legacy infrastructure means that projects might take weeks or even months to implement, which can impact negatively on the business. On the other hand, appliance-based HCI such as SimpliVity from HPE arrives ready to use, offering guaranteed levels of performance and needing only the smallest intervention in terms of installation and configuration.”

Sizani says SimpliVity helps streamline IT operations with a quick, easy, and efficient hyper-converged platform.