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Demystifying Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI)

Hello Folks,

 

Whether it was during Ignite 2018 in Orlando or last week in Dallas for IT\Dev Connections I keep running into system administrator that are confused or have misunderstanding about Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI). 

 

It’s really the consolidation of software-defined compute, storage, and networking into one cluster to provide easily scalable virtualization in a way that is cheap and performant.  It was first introduced in Windows Server 2016 with Storage Spaces Direct and Hyper-V.

  

 

Microsoft recommends Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD) solutions from our partners. They are designed, assembled, and validated against our reference architecture to ensure compatibility and reliability, so you get up and running quickly.

 

Why would you want to switch from your current Hyper-V cluster to an HCI setup?  Well, there are many reasons.

 

why HCI.png

 

 

Of course you can build and manage your own HCI cluster since all the software part are included in Windows Server 2019.

 

  • Hypervisor / compute
  • Software-defined storage
  • Software-defined networking
  • Management software
  • Unlimited guest licenses

I would just recommend that you pick hardware that has the Software Defined DataCenter (SDDC) qualifications.

 

To build your own, you need to understand and be able to deploy and configure

 

1-      Software defined Networking

2-      Storage Spaces Direct

3-      Hyper-V

 

wssd.jpg

 

All on WSSD- certified hardware.  Furthermore, you can now Manage Hyper-Converged Infrastructure with Windows Admin Center.

 

 I know this is not the typical technical article I've written in the past, but based on the conversations I've had at the last two conference i spoke at, these are important concepts to grasp.

 

Cheers!

 

Pierre Roman

@WiredCanuck