HCI helps simplify data center architecture, but still little used

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Despite a number of potential benefits, few organizations have deployed hyper-converged infrastructure technology, according to a new report from WinMagic, a provider of data security products.

The company hired market research firm Viga to survey 1,029 IT decision makers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany in November 2017, and found that only 15 percent report having any HCI technology in their infrastructure. Flexibility (65 percent), performance (58 percent) and availability (46 percent) are the highest ranked benefits of the technology.

HCI is a software-defined IT infrastructure in which key elements of the data center (servers, storage and networks) are virtualized. Among the factors holding companies back from deploying more of these technologies are concerns about increased complexity of IT infrastructure (cited by 45 percent) and maintaining data security across HCI environments (43 percent). Other factors include maintaining management control as HCI scales across the business (39 percent) and the lack of an ability to manage virtual machines in hybrid environments (34 percent).

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Deployed with the correct controls, HCI can be one of the best ways to simplify data center infrastructure, the report noted. But its dynamic nature and reliance on virtual machines create challenges such as how to unify security and control data sprawl as IT departments struggle to maintain control as workloads expand.

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