Cisco is launching HyperFlex 2.5, celebrating a year since HyperFlex’s original launch. HyperFlex is Cisco’s Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) solution that integrates compute, storage and network resources into an easy-to-use, modular design that provides cloud economics for on-premise infrastructure.
HCI has been getting a lot of attention in the data center space lately. It offers the promise of improved scalability, ease of use, and utilization. To accomplish that it brings together compute, storage and network under a converged software defined (SD) umbrella. And HyperFlex 2.5 delivers this promise for any application type, including the most latency sensitive ones, like databases.
In the past, data centers had to put together servers and storage systems interconnected by a network design and hope to hit the right balance for the needs of their applications. That’s why delivering a new application, even a new application instance, would sometimes take weeks to deliver to users. If the network, for example, didn’t have enough bandwidth it would have to be provisioned. If there wasn’t enough storage capacity, new storage systems would have to be acquired and installed.
HyperFlex, in contrast, can dynamically allocate to your application the compute and storage capacity it needs, ensuring the right network configuration. That means that once some profiling had occurred new instances can be delivered almost immediately with optimal system configuration.
Applications are made up of many elements that interconnect with each other and with the data they have to process. To work well, data must be available “immediately” as it’s needed. When an application, especially a database, needs to read (or write) data, it can’t afford to wait. With HyperFlex 2.5 it wouldn’t have to.
HCI, and HyperFlex especially, is a result of what we at Intel call a “virtuous software spiral.” It’s the notion that new software concepts drive efficiency. Then complementary hardware capabilities boost this efficiency, enabling a new level of software innovation.
Modern Intel CPUs have the performance and capabilities, like Intel® Virtualization Technology and Intel® Resource Director Technology, to run storage and networking functions in software and enable HCI respectively. Intel open source software tools like Data Plane Developers Kit (DPDK), Storage Platform Developers Kit (SPDK) and Intel Storage Acceleration Library (ISA-L) allow software developers to take full advantage of these architectures. Solid State Drives (SSD) have brought to the market breakthrough speeds on the storage side. And lately, NVMe technology has liberated SSDs from the constraints of Hard Disc Drive (HDD) era system architecture by moving the SSD on to the high-performance PCIe bus.
HyperFlex 2.5 takes advantage of these innovations by introducing NVMe options, above and beyond the all-SSD HyperFlex 2.0. By connecting the latest CPUs and the latest NVMe SSD with Cisco’s unique high-speed network technology, HyperFlex 2.5 delivers on the promise of scalability, ease of use, and high utilization, capable of providing the highest performance and lowest latency, to even the most demanding applications.
Congratulations to Cisco and the HyperFlex team for this next enhancement in the HyperFlex family! We are excited to continue our collaboration to bring more innovation to the market in this space.