Modular Architecture is the most critical aspect of the next generation modern data-center. Its important to be modular not only in the way the hardware is implemented but also the software that drives the hardware and the applications that the end consumers access.
Being Modular helps organization to be Cloud Scale, Elastic, Scale-out and highly available. Every Organization wants to enable cloud-like economics and scale without compromising the performance, reliability, and availability in their own data-center.
What are the current pain-points that drives the needs for Modular Architecture ?
- Discrete Infrastructure resulting in non-optimal utilization of resources
- Capacity and Performance monitoring & management challenges
- Discrete Teams for management of Compute,Storage & network architecture and delays in their coming together
- Infrastructure Ownership
From Hardware perspective focusing on the enterprise , among many there are two approaches for the modern data-center that stands-out as mentioned below.
- Converged Infrastructure
- Hyper-Converged Infrastructure
Let’s start with understanding of each one of them from Wikipedia
Converged infrastructure operates by grouping multiple information technology (IT) components into a single, optimized computing package. Components of a converged infrastructure may include servers, data storage devices, networking equipment and software for IT infrastructure management, automation and orchestration.
Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) refers to integrating virtualization of storage and computing in a center. In such an environment, storage and compute components are marketed by a single vendor. Unlike converged infrastructure, packages typically do not include network switches to connect multiple systems.
There are many variants and depending on the OEMs/Partner there might be different names that are called out as well. While some might argue that only one of them is relevant (depending on their experience of the technology) , as on date and looking at the application architecture that is existent today, both technologies are very much relevant and customers must be empowered to make the right choice depending on the use case. Both can co-exist and both provides modular approach to hardware design and implementation.
In subsequent posts we will discuss on various aspects of these infrastructures and how these drives Operational simplicity and efficiency for organizations.