As the Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon continues unabated, contributing to a massive influx of data that companies need to process, it’s becoming clear that IT data center architectures of old will struggle to keep pace. Increasingly, companies will need to rely on hyper-converged infrastructure in order to handle the influx of data.
And that data is expected to grow dramatically. The research firm IDC says the “digital universe” – the amount of data we create and copy annually – is doubling in size every 2 years. By 2020 it will multiply 10-fold from 2013, from 4.4 trillion gigabytes to 44 trillion gigabytes, “containing nearly as many digital bits as there are stars in the universe,” IDC says.
IDC predicts that the number of “IoT endpoints,” or connected devices, will grow from 10.3 billion in 2014 to more than 29.5 billion in 2020.
To keep up, data centers will need to become more agile and cost-effective, which is where hyper-converged infrastructure comes in. Hyper-converged infrastructure is the logical extension of converged infrastructure, where all server, storage and networking components are delivered in a single enclosure, complete with a hypervisor and management software.
Hyper-converged infrastructure combines the server, storage and hypervisor into a single standalone appliance. Server workloads are all virtualized and the integrated storage is software-defined. What’s more, hyper-converged infrastructure solutions can be scaled, making it suitable for enterprises and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) alike. That means SMBs have access to the sort of enterprise-grade infrastructure that was once out of their reach.
The benefits are many, beginning with initial deployment. Hyper-converged infrastructure is designed, built and tested in the factory, saving up to 100 hours in initial deployment time along with about 10 hours per month in ongoing management time. When delivered in a self-contained enclosure, converged infrastructure also eliminates the need for dedicated server rooms, saving thousands in construction costs.
Another key benefit of such self-contained systems: they’re easy to transport. That can be critical in the wake of a natural disaster, after a merger or acquisition, or just when it’s time to move to a new site.
There’s no question the IOT era brings with it some exciting opportunities for businesses to extract value from data like never before – if they have the appropriate IT infrastructure. It’s equally clear that hyper-converged IT infrastructure is a sound answer for organizations of almost any size, providing the sort of agility and effectiveness that the IOT era demands.
To learn more about Schneider Electric’s converged IT infrastructure solutions for data centers, please click here.