Top 5 Nutanix Hyperconverged Infrastructure Questions for Data Center Administrators

Posted on January 1, 2023 by rawee.k

As the requirements of the data center continue to evolve, a new kind of infrastructure is needed to keep up with modern business and IT initiatives. Designed for a different era, the traditional 3-tier architecture has plagued technology leaders with IT silos, management complexity, and gross inefficiencies that undermine the end-user experience.

As a result of modern data center compute and storage workload requirements, organizations are seeking simplicity from their data center infrastructure. The IT sprawl stemmed from uncontrolled growth that past decade has led many IT leaders to explore HCI as a viable solution to deliver the elasticity and scalability of public cloud providers, alongside the control and security of an on-premises system.

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) has been around for more than a decade, simplifying datacenter operations, and enabling faster scaling with lower cost than traditional infrastructure. The software-defined IT architecture framework approach has been described as “the best of both worlds”, offering both a pragmatic and forward-looking approach to infrastructure, and puts technology organizations in a better position to support current and future business objectives.

Nutanix HCI Technical Benefits for Data Centers

Today, over 12,000 IT organizations have selected Nutanix HCI to replace their SAN infrastructure to address their most complex on-premises and cloud-based IT challenges. For IT organizations looking to improve performance, simplify management and increase the security of their data center, Nutanix HCI has become the ideal infrastructure architecture to rapidly deploy, manage and administer dynamic compute and storage environments that ensure continued business success. Now IT directors and data center administrators at data-driven organization no longer have to settle for complexity, poor performance, vendor lock-in, and unnecessary licensing costs from their IT infrastructure.

Evaluating a Nutanix HCI Solution for Data Center Administrators

If your organization is contemplating big data center architecture decisions in 2023, the simplified deployment, management and administration are the primary benefits of Nutanix HCI – a simplicity that brings a number of cost-saving benefits. To get started, this article outlines the Top 5 Nutanix HCI Questions for Data Center Administrators to Ask before deploying a hyperconverged infrastruction solution. Read further to learn about:

  • How hyperconvergence enables an on-premise data center to operate like a public cloud
  • Explanation of how HCI simplifies IT operations
  • What size businesses are the best fit for hyperconvergence
  • Evaluating TCO or ROI when adopting HCI solutions
  • How difficult will for the IT organization to master a hyperconverged infrastucture

☁️ 1. How does HCI make a data center more like the public cloud?

We’ve already noted that hyperconverged infrastructure is the core of a cloud-like datacenter. But why?

The Enterprise Cloud for Dummies eBook (which you can download here) does a good job explaining scaling limitations of traditional infrastructure, that in turn impede hybrid cloud goals:

The vision of private and hybrid clouds is not new—and companies have tried doing this before. However, the underlying infrastructure is still based on scale-up storage accessed over a storage network that is deployed and scaled in big chunks. What’s needed is a re-platforming of the enterprise datacenter. You cannot build cloud capabilities on traditional infrastructure with scale-up storage.

Scale-up storage has hard limits. At a certain point, the shared components — controllers and the network fabric — get overwhelmed. It’s inevitable. The question is not if this will happen, but when. As a result, many scale-up storage systems are bundled with spec sheets that tell customers that they can grow only so far before they have to add more shared components. Adding these components also adds complexity to the system.

The end result is unpredictability, a scenario that cannot be tolerated in the modern datacenter. Businesses must be able to operate with the expectation that their workloads will operate continuously at predictable levels. In scale-up, as you add more burden to the shared resources, performance levels can be affected.

Even many of today’s array-based scale-out storage methodologies begin to crumble under their own weight as they grow. The bigger these constructs grow, the more data has to traverse a storage networking fabric. Eventually, as data gets farther and farther from the CPU and RAM, performance problems ensue.

A reliable datacenter infrastructure combines the ability to leverage scale-out storage while maintaining data locality.

👌 2. How does HCI simplify and improve IT operations?

Every day, it seems, we hear of new use cases where HCI has helped businesses with their own unique operational challenges. Let’s look at some ways that seem to be true across the board:

It saves you room HCI reduces your datacenter footprint (by 75% in this company’s case!) by reducing typical infrastructure stacks down to scalable building blocks with compute, storage, and networking built in. And this drastically reduced footprint enables you to run the same infrastructure at the edge as in your core datacenters, resulting in additional efficiency while improving resiliency and performance.

It consolidates Separate servers, storage networks and storage arrays can be replaced with a single hyperconverged infrastructure solution to create an agile datacenter that easily scales with your business. Hyperconvergence makes administration much easier, enabling you to manage all aspects of your infrastructure from one place, all while reducing complexity by removing compatibility problems between multiple vendors.

It’s “just-in-time” infrastructure Deployment and scaling made simple! If resources become scarce, you simply call your vendor, ask for more servers and software licenses, and deploy them with a few clicks. The infrastructure should be all but invisible to application owners. They shouldn’t have to worry about underlying infrastructure; they should only be focused on their workloads.

🚪 3. What are the primary reasons to abandon the traditional 3-Tier infrastructure?

Cost of Acquisition: HCI is an investment, but it’s nothing compared to what it would take to continue to manage ever-increasing costs of upgrading traditional SAN environments. Multiple vendors and software licenses, paying for specialists, increasing power and cooling costs, the need to overbuy, and the expense of provisioning storage all can be significantly reduced with the implementation of hyperconverged infrastructure.

Complexity: Silos, racks, servers, cables, hypervisors, separate management interfaces, multiple vendors, shelfware…the list goes on and on when it comes to the ways datacenters and datacenter management have become increasingly complex. HCI is the way to “tidy up” your datacenter—simplifying operations by consolidating key elements, reducing footprint, and managing your entire infrastructure from one pane of glass.

Cloud-Ready: IT environments are going multi-cloud, and legacy infrastructure isn’t built to make companies successful in a hybrid cloud world. (See above question on what HCI has to do with cloud!) Changing the infamous 80/20 rule Is 80% of your budget focused on keeping the lights on while a mere 20% is dedicated to innovation? That changes with HCI, which enables automation, self-service, pay-as-you-grow scaling, and saves time to focus on high-value business activities.

⚖️ 4. How does HCI scale easier than a traditional 3-tier infrastructure?

Similar to public cloud services, hyperconverged infrastructure solutions enable IT teams to start with what they need today and scale incrementally to precisely meet application demands. With HCI, you can non-disruptively scale out your environment with modular building blocks as your business needs grow. In contrast, with traditional infrastructure, each tier is sized based on specific needs. In particular, storage is deployed on large monolithic storage arrays that are complex to design and deploy, and often slow down as more applications are added. Once an array fills up, the only way to add more storage is to deploy another large array that has to be managed separately. This dynamic leads IT teams to try to plan for 3-5 years so they can avoid getting into this situation.

💰 5. HCI seems completely different from our traditional infrastructure, better, but how can we afford to replace it with all this new hardware and software?

It’s easy to get started with HCI, because there isn’t a massive up-front investment required like with traditional infrastructure. Some organizations choose to rip off the band-aid and upgrade their whole infrastructure in one shot, but many start off with a set of urgent or historically problematic use cases and expand from there. With HCI, you can start at any size and scale out seamlessly as needed.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Data Center Administrators

Overall, HCI provides a number of benefits, including cost-savings, improved performance, flexibility and scalability. Discover all the reasons to adopt hyperconverged infrastructure to stay competitive in today’s digital world and address the most challenging data center challenges.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) Solutions

Whether HCI is new to you, or you believe you’re an expert, there still may be some technical benefits to HCI you may not be taking advantage of. We can help educate your team on the potential technical impact HCI can have on strategic business and IT initiatives.

Interested in trying it out? Visit our Hyperconverged Infrastructure solution page to learn how to take a Nutanix test-drive through any browser. In just a few clicks, access a test cluster remotely to spin-up a cluster in the cloud within minutes.

If you’d like to learn more about how Pogo Linux HCI solutions enable high-performant and secure data center architectures with simplified management, give us a call at (888) 828-7646, email us at or book a time calendar to speak. We’ve helped organizations of all sizes deploy scalable, high-performance object storage solutions for just about every IT budget.