When you look at the evolution of the data center over the last few decades, the emergence of hyperconverged systems seems inevitable. Enterprises do not want to maintain larger, more expensive and more complex data centers. They want to be able to do more with less. Nutanix, SimpliVity and other leading hyperconverged solution providers are giving them that opportunity.
Hyperconverged systems combine servers, storage and hypervisors into a single high-performance box. What this means is that enterprises no longer have to install, run and manage separate sets of devices for storage, networking, applications and virtual machines. Hyperconvergence wraps all of this into a single platform that can scale easily by simply stacking more boxes on top of one another.
Yet hyperconverged systems are not optimized to manage the rapid unstructured file growth that enterprises are experiencing today.
The Ratio Problem
At first, this might seem counterintuitive. Hyperconverged solutions do allow enterprises to scale up in small, efficient increments. When you build up these solutions, you also split the data across multiple nodes and move around virtual machines. As with the cloud model of data protection, this allows you to survive the failure of any one hardware node. The downside is that you are locked into a specific configuration or ratio of computing to storage to memory. This is the heart of the problem.
“What this boils down to is simple. With Nasuni, enterprises relying on hyperconverged systems can finally take advantage of cloud storage.”
Hyperconverged is high-performance hardware, so that means your storage is going to swallow up expensive capacity. In some cases, this can be welcome. Game designers, engineers, video editors and other end users often need high-performance access to critical files.
But the files your end users don’t access on a regular basis will also occupy that expensive space. As time passes, they will grow beyond the assigned storage capacity. Exponential growth in the size and volume of files is forcing companies to purchase new hyperconverged boxes earlier than anticipated just to find a place to stash all that cool data.
Nobody likes this scenario. IT departments do not want to ask for budget increases to expand capacity. Hyperconverged providers do not want files crowding their high-performance systems and impacting their value proposition.
How Hyperconverged Can Leverage Cloud Storage
The cloud is an ideal repository for infrequently accessed files. It’s a durable, resilient and cost-effective target. But hyperconverged systems do not effectively link to the public clouds on their own. What they need is a third-party solution that securely brings the cloud into the hyperconverged data center.
Nasuni achieves this by deploying a lightweight virtual machine within the hyperconverged solution, providing a secure link to the unlimited scalability of the cloud. Once a Nasuni VM is deployed, only frequently accessed files remain in the hyperconverged hardware – all the rest are securely stored in the cloud. The Nasuni VM provides a number of additional benefits, including enhanced file sharing and improved data protection.
What this boils down to, though, is simple. With Nasuni, enterprises relying on hyperconverged systems can finally take advantage of cloud storage.