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Mothercluster! 4 challenges of hyperconvergence.

December 31, 2018

Does it stink to shrink? In other words, is moving from a traditional data center to a shrunken, hyperconverged infrastructure a painful undertaking?
 
But wait, you say. Hyperconvergence enables multiple nodes to be clustered together to create pools of shared compute. How can that be bad? Well, it’s not so much a bad choice as one that requires thoughtful planning.
 
Disclaimer: We’re pro-hyperconvergence. It makes a ton of sense for a ton of companies in a ton of use cases. In fact, we’ve waxed poetic about it in past blogs.  But what we’ve failed to give ink to are the challenges that come with converting from a traditional data center to one that is hyperconverged. It may have some IT teams crying “mothercluster!”
 
Hyperconverged headaches:                                                                                                                                                                                 
1) Sticker shock
Because hyperconvergence magically combines storage, compute and networking in one box, it often sets off a cost scare for IT. The cost over time isn’t as shocking as the upfront cost. For some organizations, it can be a deal-breaker. The transition into a new ecosystem often has CTOs wondering why they’re scrapping perfectly functional hardware only to re-buy more. And what if you budgeted for, say, 5 boxes but later discover you need 7? And that’s just the physicality of the system—there’s also new software to purchase. Much like buying a home, the base price only begins to tell the cost story.
 
2) Not just a “drop and plop” scenario
Converting from a traditional data center to a hyperconverged system is often daunting and requires intentional forecasting. Underplanning can dramatically set back an organization by surprise. Have you undergone onsite capacity planning? What about geography? Will you need to rip out an office to implement a new server rack? Remember, each new box requires switches, cables, racks, etc.
 
3) Fear of adoption
This truth could be applied to anything new. Staff often embraces the positives of hyperconvergence, but not necessarily the learning curve that comes with it. A data center veteran may not be comfortable living in a brave, new, shrunken world. Worse yet, jobs could be at stake—detractors may need to be replaced with those who have experience in the new infrastructure.
 
4) Vendor fatigue
Even though hyperconvergence is a relatively new concept, tons of companies have jumped on the opportunity to profit from it. The vendor landscape can be overwhelming. IT managers like choices, but having too many options means too much R&D for a time-strapped IT department. Some just want to get professional guidance and make a good decision. If you’re thinking about exploring the benefits of a hyperconverged infrastructure, Ingram Micro can help you demystify it.
 
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