From mission-critical applications to hybrid cloud deployments, CRN breaks down the top five biggest use cases for hyperconverged infrastructure expected in 2022.
By Mark Haranas
IT teams will continue to turn to hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) to modernize their infrastructure, applications and hybrid cloud environments in 2022, with HCI expected to drive containers, disaggregated resourcing and public cloud integration strategies this year.
“More often than not, enterprises are now modernizing in place to support applications and processes rather than migrating everything to cloud, since hybrid environments ultimately provide a more dynamic and flexible IT experience than either private or public clouds alone,” said Christian Perry, senior research analyst covering IT infrastructure at 451 Research, in a recently published report.
The research firm’s new report is based off its ‘Hyperconverged Infrastructure Strategy, & Workloads’ study that it conducted on IT organizations around HCI deployments, market trends and use cases. In 2022, the research firm expects that a majority of HCI deployments across all major industries will be driven by five main use cases: edge deployments, mission-critical applications, disaster recovery, modern applications and hybrid cloud.
“Our research shows that HCI is up for the task, as steady innovation across all of these areas now positions HCI as highly effective infrastructure for transitioning to modern IT operations,” said Perry. “HCI may appear to be simply a one-stop shop for the latest and greatest infrastructure technologies, but the reality is far deeper, as current HCI users are leaning on it heavily as a holistic [solution] for IT transformation, both inside and outside of their data centers.”
Modern Applications, Kubernetes
HCI has evolved to support modern applications that are integrated across private, hybrid and public clouds. Organizations are turning to HCI to consolidate application deployment on a platform engineered for the nuances of modern or cloud-native requirements.
According to 451 Research’s study, 45 percent of organizations using HCI have deployed Kubernetes on their hyperconverged platforms in 2021, up from 29 percent in 2020. Another 33 percent of organizations have Kubernetes on HCI in the proof-of-concept stage.
Specifically, businesses are now using HCI along with Kubernetes to accelerate software updates, enable microservices, ease deployment of stateless and stateful applications, as well as shift on-premises applications to public cloud environments.
Most forward-looking organizations are striving create a hybrid cloud IT environment for their businesses, which is one of the most challenging things to do given the difficulty in managing all of the various products and components. Hyperconverged infrastructure has emerged as a logical choice for hybrid cloud deployments due to HCI’s inherently simplified design and ease of management that customers can quickly deploy without the need for specialized skills.
When integrated natively with broader virtualization, container and cloud platforms, HCI not only becomes a one-stop shop for application deployment across the enterprise, but also for flexible resource deployment in any location.
According to 451 Research, 45 percent of respondents who implemented HCI for hybrid cloud said they like the easy IT resource scaling in response to changing circumstances, while 41 percent said HCI helped consolidate different IT environments under a single management framework.
Edge Computing And ROBO
Edge computing is becoming a major investment for organizations seeking to capitalize on opportunities beyond core data centers and major public cloud regions. There are many challenges to deploying stand-alone servers, storage and networking products at edge locations, such as scaling limitations and complex management. HCI is a strong use case for edge computing due to intrinsic design that can eliminate complexity challenges.
Approximately 33 percent of respondents deployed HCI in remote office/branch office (ROBO) locations in 2021, up from 19 percent in 2020, according to 451 Research’s study. Around 15 percent of respondents deployed HCI in edge locations in 2021, up from 9 percent in 2020.
This growth in edge and ROBO locations is due to hyperconverged infrastructure’s deployment options capabilities to fit almost any environment, regardless of space limitations as well as its strength in remote management.
According to 451 Research’s study, 41 percent of respondents said they are leveraging HCI for database and data warehousing critical workloads, as well as for data analytics and business intelligence workloads. Approximately 39 percent of respondents were leveraging HCI for cybersecurity workloads, while 30 percent use HCI for CRM around sales and marketing.
HCI is now a proven solution to simplify IT environments and optimize critical workloads like Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle databases, Microsoft Exchange or SAP HANA. The market leading vendors in this space—such as Dell Technologies, VMware, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lenovo and Nutanix—continue to improve the performance, scalability and management of these applications.
Nearly one-third of surveyed organizations had experienced an outage in the past two years, with 61 percent saying outages have cost their businesses over $100,000.
Heavier data consumption is challenging traditional models for disaster recovery (DR) solution which are not always designed to support hybrid cloud ecosystems and the requirements of cloud-native applications. HCI continues to fill the gaps with native DR integration designed to be flexible with modern, cloud-heavy requirements.
Disaster recovery integrated into HCI platforms require no specialized management tools or connections, which benefits DR and other remote sites with limited or no local IT staff. DR benefits from HCI’s built-in automation and testing that lets managers quickly assign IP address changes during failover and consistently test their DR plans without disruption.