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Three benefits of using hyper-converged infrastructure systems for VDI


Beware the shortcomings of hyper-converged appliances

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Visual Editor: Sarah Evans

The concept of hyper-converged appliances is wonderful on the surface, but HCI has some drawbacks.

First of all, breaking down the IT barriers between storage, networking, compute and server virtualization could throw a wrench into IT departments that use a siloed approach. Now that everyone is working together, who is in charge? Any organization that adopts HCI has to plan an entirely new IT hierarchy. And IT admins that previously specialized in one data center component must learn to branch out.

Hyper-converged appliances also come with a risk of vendor lock-in, because they usually require a hefty financial investment. The data center hardware and software all comes from one vendor, so IT loses the flexibility to mix components and shop around for deals. IT should do plenty of research before committing to an HCI vendor, because they're likely in it together for the long haul.

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What is the biggest risk of committing to hyper-converged appliances?
Removing the siloed approach should not be a drawback. Even with the server, network, storage siloes, someone had to sit at the top to arbitrate conflicts between the siloes. Why wouldn't this person continue to "be in charge" as you say? Now instead of managing 3 teams, this person manages 1 team. That one team should have within itself the ability to cross-train the various disciplines. This is IT simplification.

Vendor lock in with HCI is only half as bad as you say. I can create Clusters of Nutanix or federations of Simplivity. I am only locked in for one server refresh cycle, which is no different that three tier architecture. The ability to add/remove/replace a single node at a time really cuts into the threat of vendor lock in.