Hyper-Convergence “For the Rest of Us”

Software-defined storage (SDS) and hyper-convergence provide a flexible and efficient alternative to traditional “one server, one application” Storage Area Network (SAN) and Network Attached Storage (NAS) configurations. Hyper converged infrastructure is a growing trend. So what is hyper-convergence, and is it right for your business?

A scale-out, hyper-converged system allows the management of compute, storage and network resources as a single integrated system through a common tool set. Virtual servers, virtual networks and virtual storage are converged within a single piece of standard IA server, along with tools for management and security. Bottlenecks of traditional system (where compute, storage and networking are all separate physical resources) essentially don’t exist with hyper-converged systems. Everything is (virtually) “in the box”. Compute, storage and network capacity grow (“scale out”) by simply adding more hyper-converged systems as business needs demand. It’s a pay-as-you-grow approach to building capacity, and helps to better manage the cost of IT.

Hyper-converged scale-out systems differ from the older scale-up approach. In a scale-up system, the compute capacity is confined as storage is added, while in a scale-out system, new compute nodes can be added as the need for compute and storage arises. Scaling-up systems have often been cost prohibitive and often lacks the necessary random IO performance (IOPS) needed by virtualized workloads. The scale-out approach is a more efficient use of hardware resources, as it moves the data closer to the processor. When scale-out is combined with solid-state drive (SSD) storage it offers far lower latency, better throughput, and increased flexibility to grow with your business. Scale-out is commonly used for virtualized workloads, private cloud, data bases, and many other business applications.

So, with all of those benefits, why not spring for it and be done? Unfortunately, hyper-convergence has existed as a combination of disparate hardware and software, which comprise a “tool kit” to be assembled by technical staff. The skillset required is often beyond the capabilities of smaller businesses and the local IT and integration vendors who serve them. Many vendors offer complete, packaged “appliance” solutions … but the price tag is often high. So it’s been a bit of a “cool toys for big boys” story.

Now, StarWind Software has introduced a new hyper-converged appliance that brings the benefits of software defined scale-out storage and hyper-convergence to small business and remote-office/business-office installations. StarWind HCA, a turn-key hyper-converged appliance, delivers high performance compute and storage powered by Intel® SSD Data Center Family drives.

Intel® SSDs are designed with fast, consistent performance for smooth data center operation. The architecture of Intel's SSDs ensure the entire read and write path and logical-block address (LBA) mapping has data protection and error correction. Many enterprise workloads depend not only on reliable data, but consistency in how quickly that data can accessed.  Consistent latency, quality of service, and bandwidth no matter what background activities are happening on the drive is the basis of the Intel Data Center Family.  Rigorous testing ensures a highly reliable SSD with consistent performance.

StarWind HCA brings enterprise class features to your business scale-out storage and hyper-convergence “for the rest of us”. This turn-key appliance - featuring Intel® SSD Data Center Family drives - eliminates scalability and performance bottlenecks and allows computing and storage capacity to grow with the business needs.