RFC 1925 Truth No. 5: “It is always possible to aglutenate multiple separate problems into a single complex interdependent solution. In most cases this is a bad idea.”
So to paraphrase truth No. 5, complexity is a bad thing. However, this is exactly how virtualized infrastructures are built today.
Above is a typical virtualized environment representative of the infrastructure required to do a first-time virtualization deployment. Virtual machines run on physical servers, with a separated management server for running the VM tools. The system administrators must then become familiar with the hypervisor systems and nuance, such as managing VMFS under VMware. VMs are created at this layer and then must be configured to connect to both the virtual network as well as the physical network. Likewise, the VMs are configured to communicate with storage via yet another network, with various tradeoffs to be weighed between common storage protocols, typically ISCSI or NFS. These then connect to a public network and to a storage network, each of which must be maintained with tools for that infrastructure. From there, the connection is made to a storage controller for a SAN or to a NAS device, with their own set of management tools and knowledge requirements. It is here where storage is provisioned and managed for eventual use at the VM layer. Finally, a connection is made the to physical disks themselves.
With hyperconvergence, many of these layers now go away entirely. VMs run natively on the storage itself. All of those extra layers and the associated management requirements go away. Although this is running on a clustered architecture, to the end user, this is as easy to manage as a single server, with VMs communicating with storage as direct attached (DAS). It is the method by which admins are already familiar, it is the easiest way to manage their infrastructure, and it eliminated the complexity barrier to making this move to virtualization
The easiest way to manage a SAN and to manage a hypervisor is to eliminate them from the management stack entirely. This is what Scale Computing has done.
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