Harvesting the Benefits of Cloud-Native Hyperconvergence
Reaping the benefits of cloud-native hyper-convergence
The logical evolution of server and storage virtualization in VSAN is hyper-convergence. By abstracting the three elements of storage, computing, and networking, data centers are promised unlimited infrastructure control. This promising ideal aligns with the goals of hyperscale operators who must grow to meet increased demand and modernize their infrastructure to remain agile. Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) provides elasticity and scalability based on usage for multiple clients, each of which can deploy multiple applications and services.
In the HCI world, there are clear caveats: unlimited control is fine, but infrastructure details like lack of local storage and slow network hardware that limit I/O often make it difficult to define the limits of what are. could be done. In addition, there are certain restrictions imposed by HCI vendors that limit the appearance of the hypervisor or limit the hardware selection to approved sets. There are also concerns about vendor lock-in with HCI-in-a-box devices.
The elephant in the space for hyper-converged infrastructure is undoubtedly the cloud. Talking about the speed of technological development is something of a cliché in the technology landscape, but cloud-native technologies like Kubernetes are showing their capabilities and potential in the future of the cloud, data center and content. The concept of HCI is primarily presented as a data center technology. It is clear that the only assignment at that time is a very large organization with its own facilities. These devices are effectively closed loops with limitations created by physical means.
Today, cloud appliances are available from hyperscalers at attractive prices for the broader market. The market for HCI solutions is estimated to grow significantly in the coming years with a year-on-year growth of less than 30%. Vendors are selling low-cost devices and low-level licenses to try to clear the middle market, and hyper-converged technologies are starting to work with hybrid and multi-cloud topologies. The latest trend is driven by demand. After all, if an IT team wants to consolidate its stack for efficient and easy management, and consolidation needs to be all-encompassing and includes on-premises hardware, containers, multiple clouds, and edge installations. This ability also implies inherent resilience and by proxy some degree of future-proofing.
Cloud-native technologies around containers are beyond flash-in-the-pan. The CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) annual survey for 2021 shows that containers and Kubernetes are becoming mainstream. Kubernetes is used or evaluated by 96% of organizations. Additionally, 93% of respondents currently use or plan to use containers in production. Portable, scalable, and platform-agnostic containers are the natural next evolution of virtualization. CI/CD workflows are proliferating, with microservices at their core.
So what is hyper-convergence in these emerging computing environments? How HCI solutions handle modern cloud-native workloads alongside full virtual machines (VMs) in a distributed infrastructure. This can be done with “traditional” hyper-convergence, but the solution will be proprietary with high costs.
Last year, SUSE launched Harvester, a 100% free, open-source modern hyper-converged infrastructure solution built on the foundations of cloud-native solutions including Kubernetes, Longhorn, and Kubert. Built on Kubernetes, Harvester bridges the gap between traditional HCI software and a modern cloud-native ecosystem. It integrates your virtual machines with cloud-native workloads, giving organizations a single place to create, monitor, and manage their entire network stack of computing storage. Because containers can run anywhere from SOC ARM boards to supercomputing clusters, Harvester is ideal for organizations with workloads spread across data centers, public clouds, and edge sites. Its small footprint makes it a perfect fit for container scenarios, and when you combine this with SUSE Rancher, you can centrally manage all your VMs and container workloads across all content locations.
Virtual machines, containers, and HCI are key technologies for extending IT services to new locations. Harvester represents how organizations can integrate and deploy HCI without proprietary closed solutions, using enterprise open source software that plugs directly into a modern cloud-native CI/CD pipeline…