I see more customers considering the adoption of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions in their data centers this year. The primary drivers? For most of them, it’s increased efficiency, improved ease of use and reduced costs – take your pick.

HCI is a game-changing solution that simplifies a data center’s infrastructure by integrating server, storage and virtualization products into a turnkey platform. Most HCI platforms also overlay management and orchestration tools to create a seamless hybrid experience.

Not surprisingly, HCI is catching on in a big way. In 2016, Gartner reported that the HCI market would grow by 79 percent for the year. It also noted that HCI is the fastest-growing segment of the overall integrated systems market, growing to almost $5 billion by 2019.

Bringing the Cloud Home

In today’s competitive world, organizations are looking to bring cost-saving, cloud-like benefits — like self-service capabilities, pay-as-you-go capacity and the ability to scale as needed — to their on-premises data centers.

To meet these goals, a data center should be fully integrated, enabling all applications to share data with other workloads seamlessly and efficiently. Key services, such as security and analytics, should be able to fully interoperate with multiple applications. Connectivity also has to be reliable and flexible, with consistent centralized management available on all types of infrastructures (both on-premises and in the cloud) as well as on operating systems or virtualization platforms. To make the most of scalability, a data center should be able to draw from pools created by a variety of infrastructure resources, enabling rapid increases and decreases in capacity as needed.

How the HCI Model Shines

Getting cloud-like benefits with an on-premises data center is best achieved by deploying a high-performance HCI environment developed by a single manufacturer that has a tightly integrated infrastructure of pre-configured computing, storage, networking and software elements. By using software to dial in various HCI components, the entire environment can be easily and cost-effectively modified and updated whenever necessary.

Traditional data centers that incorporate resources from multiple manufacturers won’t typically offer easy, efficient interoperability and management. An HCI, on the other hand, makes a data center more efficient and productive by bringing all resources together under a single umbrella, saving IT team members from numerous time-sucking configuration and management chores.

A purpose-built HCI can also be engineered to start handling specific workloads as soon as it arrives onsite, ensuring efficient performance without requiring post-delivery tuning or custom integration work. If a problem occurs, the IT staff will work with a single point of contact to resolve the issue instead of the hassle of dealing with multiple vendors who often point fingers at everyone else when any issues come up.

Future-Proofing Your Data Center

HCI also helps organizations keep pace with new methodologies and technologies built to streamline operations, improve efficiency and cut costs. As your organization builds its three- to five-year plan, you can be confident that its HCI solution can help achieve these goals.

If Gartner’s predictions hold true (and we know they don’t always), most on-premises data centers will eventually move to HCI, which makes sense because the model’s benefits are both obvious and compelling.

To learn more about CDW’s solutions and services for hyperconverged infrastructures, visit CDW.com/datacenter

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