Top tips for choosing a hyper-converged infrastructure solution

Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is an attractive alternative to conventional, hardware-defined infrastructure


Software-defined HCI provides improved flexibility and economics by virtualizing compute, storage, and network elements of an infrastructure.

As IT departments continue to embrace HCI, prospective users want to know what makes an HCI solution stand out. 

IT Central Station users of the HPE SimpliVity HCI solution discuss best practices for choosing an HCI Solution.

Simplicity, Manageability, and Efficiency

HCI system owners look for simplicity in the management of a solution. One Systems Engineer III at a logistics company with over 1,000 employees notes how “Software upgrades and scalability can be done during normal business hours with no downtime.”

For a VP/Chief Technology Officer at an energy/utilities company with over 500 employees, manageability emerged as a critical factor in HCI selection. He shared, “This includes simple backup and data protection for all our VMs, and can be managed centrally from one login and interface through VMware vCenter.” IT Central Station reviewers concluded that HCI solutions should drive efficiency in IT operations and resource utilization.

Provides Faster Applications with High-Availability

Infrastructure running on a software-defined basis with a unified point of management translates into faster applications with high-availability. A Solutions Architect at a manufacturing company with over 1,000 employees said, “This solution was an easy way for us to ensure high availability along with offsite backup of data.” He added. “It has made offsite recovery a faster process than in the past.”

For a CPG IT Transformation Manager, “scaling is a piece of cake. We even are doing site-to-site replication of certain systems that we need to have high availability on.”

Fast Backup & Restore + Footprint Reduction

A number of IT Central users use HCI for its backup and restore functionality.

“We can backup with more frequency and minimize RPO and RTO,” said an IT Solution Specialist at a small company.

A Network Manager at a marketing services firm found HCI saves space in the data center: “We can get backups faster. We have a smaller footprint for hardware, which takes up less space. So, we use less electricity and floor space.” 

Cloud Options

When considering a solution, IT Central Station members suggest looking at cloud extension options for HCI. For example, an Infrastructure and Technology Consultant said, “It allows you to take advantage of the unique platform of computing, cloud management, storage, and integrated networks, as well as software-defined data management, which is easy to use.”

Based on IT Central Station user reviews, best practices for selecting the right HCI solution include simplicity, manageability, high availability, and efficiency in storage. A good HCI platform will provide fast application response and fast backup and restore, while also contributing to a reduction in the data center footprint. Cloud options are also important, as many organizations employing HCI are moving towards a hybrid cloud model of IT deployment.