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Hyper Converged Integrated Systems Versus the Cloud

Cloud computing and hyper converged integrated systems (HCIS) represent different aspects of the trend toward software defined data centers. Both of these technologies automate infrastructure management with different but complementary strengths. Because of the similarities, HCIS can play a role in cloud deployments that contributes lower costs and higher performance levels.

Computing in The Cloud

Cloud computing replaces the need to invest in hardware, configure platforms and software applications on site with solutions that share resources of networks, servers, and software stacks managed as subscription services. Cloud computing divides the stack into three functional layers, which are infrastructure, platforms, and software.
The cloud-computing stack delivers each of these layers as subscription services to purchase individually or in combinations. Cloud services use virtualized machines that connect through APIs that provide points to connect applications without revealing the internal code.

  • Infrastructure as a Service – IaaS provides the use of servers, storage, networks, and operating systems on demand. Customers forego the cost of investing in equipment, setup and load balancing, functions that take upfront investment and months of work to deploy. Small businesses and startups use IaaS to launch lean startups and scale services rapidly in response to demand.
  • Platform as a Service – PaaS solutions facilitate development, collaboration, UX, and many other functions that support applications and match them to customers and revenue streams.
  • Software as a Service – SaaS makes the user experience simpler, more productive, and enjoyable, it eliminates the need to manage patches and updates while centrally delivering admin control.

Public and Private Clouds Configurations

The most elementary cloud services share public functionality between many clients minimizing the cost and complexity for each. The openness of public cloud services has advantages and savings because users share resources, only using that which they need. That openness limits the security and privacy that public cloud offers.
Private clouds support multiple tenants but separate the accounts applications by reducing the overlap at the infrastructure level. Hybrid clouds separate functions into those that require private cloud controls, and the rest that a public cloud can handle. The advantage of hybrid clouds is the ability to balance security with efficiency, reducing the fraction of more costly resources to the minimum required at any given time.

Hyper Converged Integrated Systems

Hyper converged integrated systems bring much of the convenience of the cloud to on-site infrastructure. HCIS extends converged infrastructure beyond certified packages of hardware, network, and storage, it automates the stack to provide a low-cost software defined data center.
HCIS facilitate rapid scaling in response to increased operational demand because they are so highly automated. To expand a server cluster, just plug in the new nodes; the software automatically sets up the new servers and rebalances the workload. Where HCIs can contribute most as part of cloud solutions is as the foundations for private clouds and as measures to improve performance and reduce the cost of in-house computing.
HCIS has the foundations of IaaS, but that is what is most in need to enable private cloud functionality.That potential makes HCIS a cost-efficient alternative to private cloud deployments and as the private component of hybrid clouds.
The low cost for HCIS delivers performance for private cloud and improves on hybrid cloud configurations because it helps IaaS. The technology for HCIS a role that aligns with cloud computing and one that is likely to find wider application in the very short-term future.

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