What is Non-converged Infrastructure?
Non-converged infrastructure is composed of hardware components which are purchased separately and integrated by the client or by consultants hired by the client. Typically this includes a hypervisor that runs on the servers that enables compute virtualization, and is connected over the network to a centralized SAN or NAS storage array. The architecture is fundamentally the same as Converged Infrastructure (CI), with the major difference being that Converged Infrastructure is pre-integrated by a vendor or is based on a reference architecture jointly developed from the various vendors that make up the solution.
What is Converged Infrastructure?
Converged infrastructure (CI) is a form of datacenter management that combines legacy infrastructure components like storage arrays, servers, network switches, and virtualization onto a single SKU that makes purchasing and deployment easier and more predictable.
Many businesses choose converged infrastructure because they’ve realized the amount of time and expense involved with sizing, deploying, configuring, and troubleshooting their own hardware. For many, the packaged model CI delivers is more appealing.
With converged infrastructure, systems are designed and integrated by a vendor, packaged into a discrete set of pre-configured options. Rather than needing to buy the various components separately and working through compatibility and integration challenges manually, converged infrastructure marries pre-integrated hardware components with software to orchestrate and provision these resources through a unified system.
As a step up from legacy, multi-tiered infrastructure, CI aims to reduce the complexity that comes with datacenter management. Its design reduces hardware incompatibility issues, and its ease of deployment is appealing to organizations that are looking to reduce time and resources spent integrating and deploying datacenter infrastructure.
What is Hyperconverged Infrastructure?
In contrast, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) takes a completely different approach to support enterprise applications, using intelligent distributed software to combine pools of server and storage resources into a 100% software-defined solution. It replaces the components of legacy infrastructure, i.e., separate servers, storage networks, and storage arrays, with one unified distributed system, creating a highly scalable datacenter.
While both converged and hyperconverged infrastructure hope to eliminate the pain-points associated with legacy infrastructure, there are unique differences between how the two tackle those challenges.