If there is one thing that is constant when it comes to technology, it is the fact that it is constantly changing and doing so at an almost imperceptible pace. And with those changes comes new vocabulary. Every year it seems there are new words added. If you are not a specialist, you may find it hard to keep up. An example of this is the term “cloud”. A decade ago, it was an unfamiliar application of an old word, yet few people these days are unfamiliar with that term. The new buzzword is “hyper-convergence”.
And though the technology and the attractiveness of this word are incredibly cool-sounding, what the word actually means is anything but merely that. Does it overcome certain technological challenges? Yes. But it’s all too reasonable characteristics seem anti-climactic.
So What Is Meant by Hyper-Convergence?
In a nutshell, getting an infrastructure system that is full-featured, supported by a single vendor, and all in one box is hyper-convergence. It nullifies the need to source individually and then set up things such as virtualization resources, networking, and storage… after which you still have to sew them together painstakingly. And thus is the difference between ordering a PC to your specs and building your own. Unless your needs are specialized, it seems like this should be obvious, doesn’t it?
Yet that is not exactly the case.
Hyper-Convergence Has Its Challenges
As an indication of just how fresh and new this technology is, even the concept of hyper-convergence did not exist a couple of years ago. That said, its newness calls for the anticipation of certain challenges, as with many immature technologies. Some of those challenges can be as follows:
Your needs must be clear and understood
In theory, plug-and-play is a great concept. But it comes with a warning. For a predetermined use case or workload, hyper-converged boxes are optimized. You may find it challenging to recalibrate your set up when your needs change, as they ultimately do. There are those who believe that these boxes are counterproductive when it comes to all of the good things we have thus far enjoyed from the technology of the cloud. These individuals believe that, when it comes to technological improvements, a backward step is represented by hyper-convergence.
What if vendors don’t last?
Some companies might be cautious about buying in because of the chances of “vendor lock-in”. That is according to the thoughts of some of today’s industry experts. But with the industry so young, it might be more that companies are simply cautious. Why? There is a strong possibility that 90% of these companies, in a matter of just ten years, may feasibly no longer exist.
The overpromise of vendors
So much is possible, at least in theory, with hyper-convergence. In all reality, however, the creation of some solutions has yet to come to its fruition. You purchase solutions from single specializing companies with conventional setups. Unfortunately, in that case, you now have to figure out how to take those solutions and make them all work optimally together. With hyper-converged infrastructure, singular solutions may not end up being of the best quality, even though the infrastructure begins from a premise of tight integration.
Because everyone doesn’t particularly need flexibility, there is every chance that hyper-convergence will have a number of very compelling use cases. But it seems that hyper-convergence is less useful, at least at this stage than the supporters of it may claim. But remember, technology is rapidly changing, and in a couple of years, hyper-convergence may work out all its bugs and end up being the latest and greatest thing since… the cloud.