Is Hyperconvergence Only for Enterprises?

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Here’s the short answer: No.

Here’s the long answer: No, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) can mold to fit small and large companies alike—though they’ll realize different benefits.

Plus, depending on the size of your organization, your willingness to adopt hyperconvergence will likely differ. Since large organizations likely have long-standing infrastructure, the idea of abandoning it and adopting something new isn’t always an enticing task. And while smaller businesses might be receptive, their limited IT budgets can create an adoption roadblock.

We know what you’re thinking: What about scaling? What about the cost of adopting HCI? How does it work long-term? Don’t worry—we’ll cover it all.

It’s for SMBs, Too!

For small-to-medium businesses, IT budgets are often tight, which means making the wrong infrastructure move can have more consequences than an enterprise, whose larger budgets can cover for any hiccups.

But while SMBs might be less inclined to spend big bucks on infrastructure, the reality of separate support costs, support teams, and licensing costs quickly adds up to a budget-eating nightmare. Funneling your budget into managing (and juggling) multiple expenses isn’t just inefficient—it can hold you back from maximizing and achieving your business objectives.

Why? Innovation costs time and money. If both of those resources are spent managing separate silos, troubleshooting servers, storage, networking, and virtualization, and babysitting your infrastructure should a fire emerge, you’ll vear off the path to innovation.

Simplicity is a budget-saver. The “clutter” that comes from managing multiple boxes, servers, silos, and more disappears on hyperconvergence. By consolidating servers, storage, networking, and virtualization into a unified platform, your organization’s budget isn’t spent on putting out fires at every corner of your datacenter.

Put simply: While HCI is a larger up-front investment, your IT budget will be free from these (and many other) costs in the long-run:

  • Separate support costs
  • Support teams
  • Licensing costs
  • Upgrade costs
  • Administrative costs
  • Power and cooling costs
  • Datacenter footprint costs
  • Hiring specialists
  • Storage provisioning costs

Not to mention, as SMBs grow, they’ll need to augment their resource consumption. On a legacy IT environment, your consumption must be estimated 3 to 5 years down the line. For an SMB, veering too far off can put a dent in an already limited budget. Because hyperconvergence offers a pay-as-you-grow scaling model, you can ensure you have just what you need, just when you need it.

And as you grow, you’ll still experience the same simplicity that started your hyperconverged journey.

But how does HCI adoption fare within enterprises? And are enterprises truly taking advantage of the technology?

A Win for Enterprises

One of the biggest roadblocks to HCI adoption is comfort in the familiar. In the 2018 State of the Enterprise Datacenter report, the belief that an organization’s in-place infrastructure works “just fine” was the #1 reason (24%) cited for not moving to HCI. And because enterprises often have long-standing environments built on multi-year-old architecture, switching over to a new system doesn’t sound appealing.

But because hyperconvergence fosters incremental scaling, you eliminate the risk of going “all-in” with a new solution. The transition could begin with a single node and then add more workloads as you become more comfortable with (and realize more benefits of) hyperconvergence.

On the topic of comfort, operating on “just fine” older architecture can make competing in your ever-growing market all the more difficult. Why? Because legacy architecture requires round-the-clock management, your IT team simply doesn’t have the time to support competitive, innovative projects.

And since enterprises are often competing with other long-standing industry masters, staying several steps behind simply isn’t an option. Unfortunately, this is a reality for many enterprises still operating under the 80/20 rule. By funnel 80% of your time and resources into infrastructure management, you leave a mere 20% for projects and initiatives that can move your business forward—not just keep it in the quicksand of “just okay.”

But are enterprises actually adopting hyperconvergence? According to this analyst report, 67% of respondents have either adopted or are considering adopting HCI. Plus, according to Gartner, 20% of business-critical applications currently living on 3-tier infrastructure will move over to hyperconvergence.

And of those who have adopted it, what are their workloads like nowadays? 76% of folks who have adopted HCI work 40 hours a week or fewer—a far cry from the lengthy hours 35% of non-adopters who work over 40 hours. Since enterprise employees can become discouraged by long, tedious hours and unexciting projects, delivering more doable work hours (and providing more business-moving projects) can improve employee retention.

Making the Hyperconverged Plunge

If the IT environment you have in place now sounds radically different from hyperconvergence, chances are going “all in” with HCI can seem difficult—and expensive.

But like almost any technology, transitioning in phases is your key to a seamless switch. If you’re an SMB, you may choose to start small with as few as 3 nodes to run a single workload. Enterprises may choose to go bigger, but regardless of how small (or big) you start, your IT team will still experience the efficiency and high performance of HCI in that workload. From there, you can start growing clusters and add additional workloads incrementally.

Alternatively, you can try out the industry’s leading hyperconverged platform at no cost here. In 2 hours, you’ll get a guided tour, experience hyperconvergence hands-on, get the chance to create storage containers and VMs in just a few clicks, and more.

Still have flurries of HCI questions floating around? Check out our Top 20 HCI Questions Answered guide for answers to all your most pressing inquiries.

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