What is Hyperconvergence?

Hyperconvergence is a term that sort of crept up on the market and has since stuck. It’s used to describe products like our HC3.  But what does hyperconvergence actually mean?

Active blogger and technologist Stevie Chambers wrote a well-thought article in which he defined hyperconvergence as an extension of the overall convergence trend, collapsing the datacenter into an appliance form factor. This is certainly true of the solutions that are available today. However, I believe he missed a key point (perhaps intentionally, as Stevie was in the CTO group at VCE when that blog was written).

The convergence trend in IT is clear:  distributed hardware components are being combined back together.  Examples include Cisco’s UCS, IBM PureSystems, and VCE Vblock solutions. But hyperconvergence means more than extending that trend into a smaller form factor.

The “hyper” in hyperconvergence comes from the hypervisor, or more generically, virtualization technology.  Hyperconvergence means to bring the virtual aspects of infrastructure together with the physical, resulting in a single solution.

Some hyperconverged solutions leave hooks where you plug in your own hypervisor and related management tools. In the case of Scale’s HC3, we have gone two steps further.  First, the hypervisor and management tools are included in HC3. Secondly, and more critical, is that this entire virtualization layer is completely embedded into the system itself. The same self-healing, automated management layer, our ICOS, which handles system clustering and hardware failure, now also handles virtualization management, resource provisioning, and VM failover.

The end result is what we believe a hyperconverged infrastructure should feel like:  a single, comprehensive system that runs your applications.  The servers, storage and virtualization stack are not only bundled together, but are completely integrated and transparent to the administrator.

So what hyperconvergence means is this: To extend the trend of datacenter convergence beyond hardware components to include integration of the hypervisor itself. Hyper(visor) + Convergence = Hyperconvergence.

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