Convergence, hyperconvergence and scale computing—these are some of the terms you will encounter when you perform an advanced search for Cloud computing concepts. What do these terms mean? An understanding of their meaning will take you several steps forward in your understanding of Cloud computing and its potential to make or mar your business.
Convergence is an old term. It literally means to “bring together” a variety of technologies. Independent past technologies may be taken over and redesigned to perform advanced functions and may be linked up with other similar or dissimilar technologies within a system to perform similar tasks. The technologies may exist side by side and can be lined for access in a simpler and more efficient manner. The infrastructure convergence includes storage components, network components and their management interfaces.
Hyperconvergence is not radical. It is a natural progression in technology from convergence concepts. The driving force behind hyperconvergence is virtualization.
The word “hyper” in hyperconvergence is derived from “hypervisor” and refers to the convergence of virtual and physical environments. Hyperconvergence (also known as HC3) rolls all devices and applications into a single device / application and orchestrates access from a single window interface. Rack-space-based approach is replaced with U-based approach and virtual environment management is integrated with management of storage, compute and network resources. The virtualization layer is situated on the same level as the storage layer. As a result, Cloud vendors adopting hyperconvergence technologies are moving towards realizing their vision of a more integrated, better articulated expression of their business objectives—namely delivery of integrated, simplified management interfaces and Cloud computing resources to their customers. Since it starts out with integration of storage resources, it is considered disruptive technology.
Scale computing is a beneficial outcome of hyperconvergence. Scale computing is the ability to scale up or scale down the infrastructure based on business peaks and troughs or needs. Hyperconvergence brings with it the ability to add nodes to clusters of hardware resources without disrupting the integrity of the whole or destroying the end user’s ability to access all hardware resources that are homogenously integrated in the hyper-converged infrastructure. Hyperconvergence allows scale-up at the rate of virtualization and reconfiguration of existing features of applications and infrastructures in new ways. Fundamentally, the applications and infrastructures are tweaked to become more flexible and lock step with virtualization.