Comparing: HCI vs. Traditional IT vs. dHCI vs. Composable Infrastructure

HCL | June 17, 2020

  • Compare outcomes of hyper-converged, traditional/converged, disaggregated HCI and composable infrastructures, plus hybrid cloud .

  • Some hyper-converged vendors have figured out there is a need for a more configurable resource buffet that retains the management benefits of HCI.

  • Rather than monolithic all-in-one nodes, dHCI products ship separate compute and storage nodes so you can decide the right mix of each without scaling compute and storage linearly in lockstep.


For over a decade, we've seen the meaning of hyper-converged infrastructure evolve. What started as almost a throwaway term has slowly morphed into an actual thriving industry, complete with Magic Quadrant and vendors fighting over the true meaning of HCI. Beyond duking it out on Twitter, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) vendors have attempted to move mountains in an effort to shoehorn their infrastructure paradigm into every aspect of IT life -- from the data center to the edge to the public cloud.


For the hyper-converged industry, the mission is clear: supplant every legacy platform with a neatly integrated hyper-converged stack. It's HCI vs. traditional infrastructure and the world. To be fair, this is a good goal! Anyone who knows me at all understands I'm a fan of hyper-convergence in general. I love what it can bring to organizations and enjoyed watching previously startup HCI vendors turn into hyper-converged powerhouses that help customers simplify IT operations .



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Unlike hyper-converged, which tightly integrates data center resources into individual nodes, converged infrastructure's data center components -- compute, networking, servers, storage -- remain separate in the traditional infrastructure mode.

~ HCL


Nutanix has grown from a pure HCI hardware play to a software-centric platform company for which HCI is the core. Scale Computing wrangled edge computing environments into submission, while NetApp, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Pivot3, Datrium and DataCore all created HCI products with their own unique flavor. One-size IT infrastructure doesn't fit all. As much as I like hyper-converged, it's clear the one-size-fits-all nature of the technology isn't the right choice for every workload.


For general-purpose needs, it's a fantastic replacement for traditional infrastructure. The very nature of HCI -- linear scalability -- can also be its downfall. Should you start to drift away from general-purpose workloads, a more traditional infrastructure approach may be a better fit than hyper-converged. HCI isn't always appropriate for workloads with intense demands on a single part of the resource stack; for example, big data workloads in which storage capacity can't increase linearly with other resources.


Hyper-convergence does this by making it easier to run the same software in the cloud that runs on on-premises hardware. This makes shifting workloads where they're needed eminently simple.


Hyper-convergence may not be the answer for CPU-intensive workloads either -- especially, if you need to pay for hypervisor licenses for every node -- and it may not work well when virtualizing resources doesn't make sense. Of course, as the hyper-convergence market continues to splinter, hyper-converged products that address these disparate needs may actually appear. Hyper-converged vendors, for example, now view disaggregated hyper-converged infrastructure (dHCI), which decouples storage and compute, as a possible answer. Still, the fact remains many organizations will prefer more traditional IT approaches that leave in place the fine-tuned knobs administrators can use for more granular control of resources.


One possible answer in the software-defined mode is composable infrastructure, which merges aspects of HCI and converged infrastructure with programmatic control of resources to make it easier to stand up and down virtual servers for specific workloads. Let's explore reasons you may or may not choose HCI vs. traditional infrastructure vs. dHCI or composable architecture. Also, what about taking a hybrid approach that brings cloud in the picture or uses a mix of infrastructures? For many, the flexibility provided by a more traditional infrastructure approach just can't be beat. You get to choose each vendor you want to work with. You get to custom-build an infrastructure that meets the unique needs of your applications. And you get to make granular choices around the configuration of each discrete resource.


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AWS to Launch an Infrastructure Region in Thailand

Amazon Web Services | October 18, 2022

Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company, today announced plans to open an infrastructure Region in Thailand. The new AWS Asia Pacific (Bangkok) Region will consist of three Availability Zones, adding to the existing 87 Availability Zones across 27 geographic regions. Globally, AWS has now announced plans for 24 more Availability Zones across eight more AWS Regions in Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and Thailand. The upcoming AWS Region in Thailand will enable developers, startups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and nonprofit organizations, to run their applications and serve end users from AWS data centers located in Thailand, ensuring that customers who want to keep their data in Thailand can do so. In addition, as part of its commitment to the region, AWS plans an estimated investment of more than $5 billion (190 billion baht) in Thailand over 15 years. For more information about AWS Global Infrastructure, visit aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure. “We are committed to supporting Thailand's digital transformation through our local infrastructure investments and fast pace of innovation, helping Thailand-based customers unlock the full potential of the cloud to transform the way businesses and institutions serve their stakeholders,” said Prasad Kalyanaraman, vice president of Infrastructure Services at AWS. “The AWS Asia Pacific (Bangkok) Region will enable organizations to build with AWS technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, data analytics, and Internet of Things. With these new tools, AWS is empowering governments to better engage with citizens, enterprises to innovate for their next phase of growth, and entrepreneurs to build businesses and compete on a global scale.” “AWS’s plan to build data centers in Thailand is a significant milestone that will bring advanced cloud computing services to more organizations and help us deliver our Thailand 4.0 ambition to create a digitized, value-based economy,” said His Excellency Mr. Supattanapong Punmeechaow, deputy prime minister of Thailand and minister of Energy. “The Royal Thai Government is pleased to collaborate with AWS, the world’s leading cloud service provider, to bring secure and resilient world-class cloud infrastructure to Thailand. AWS’s investment will enhance the nation’s competitiveness, generate significant long-term economic benefits, and help build a highly skilled workforce.” “An AWS Region in Thailand will help businesses and government agencies deliver improved digital services that will benefit our nation’s citizens for decades to come,” said His Excellency Mr. Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, minister of the Thailand Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES). “MDES and AWS have been working together to support the government’s digital transformation by modernizing legacy infrastructure and improving operations. AWS’s investment will bring our nation a step closer toward Thailand’s digital future.” “Cloud services are one of the most essential drivers of a digital economy. We welcome AWS’s plans to build a Region in Thailand, which will help advance our position as an innovation hub in Asia and a top destination for investment,” said Mr. Narit Therdsteerasukdi, secretary general of the Thailand Board of Investment. “The AWS Asia Pacific (Bangkok) Region will help boost the country’s global competitiveness, while driving innovation and economic productivity across all industries in Thailand.” AWS Regions consist of Availability Zones that place infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations, with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting customers’ business continuity, yet near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications that use multiple Availability Zones. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected through redundant, ultra-low latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones and across multiple Regions to achieve even greater fault tolerance. The new AWS Asia Pacific (Bangkok) Region will enable customers with data residency preferences or requirements to securely store data in Thailand while providing even lower latency across the country. Customers from startups to enterprises to government organizations and nonprofits will be able to use advanced technologies from the world’s leading cloud to drive innovation. AWS offers the broadest and deepest portfolio of services including analytics, compute, database, Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, mobile services, storage, and other cloud technologies. Organizations in Thailand are among the millions of active customers using AWS in more than 190 countries around the world. Thai organizations that choose AWS to run their workloads to accelerate innovation, increase agility, and drive cost savings include 2C2P, CP All Plc., Digital Economy Promotion Agency, Energy Response Co. Ltd. (ENRES), Papyrus Studio, PTT Global Public Company Limited, PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited, Siam Cement Group, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, The Stock Exchange of Thailand, and more. For use cases highlighting the ways these Thai organizations use AWS services to transform their business, visit: press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/aws-launch-infrastructure-region-thailand Thailand-based partners are part of the AWS Partner Network (APN), which includes more than 100,000 independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators (SIs) around the world. AWS Partners build innovative solutions and services on AWS, and the APN provides business, technical, marketing, and go-to-market support to customers. AWS SIs, consulting partners, and ISVs help enterprise and public sector customers migrate to AWS, deploy mission-critical applications, and provide a full range of monitoring, automation, and management services for customers’ environments. Examples of AWS Thai Partners include DailiTech, G-Able Public Company Limited, National Telecom Public Company Limited, NTT (Thailand) Ltd., and True IDC. AWS ISVs in Thailand, including 2C2P and Amity, are already using AWS to deliver their software to customers around the world and plan to serve their Thai customers from the AWS Asia Pacific (Bangkok) Region at launch. For the full list of APN members, visit aws.amazon.com/partners, and for use cases from DailiTech, National Telecom, and NTT (Thailand) Ltd, visit: press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/aws-launch-infrastructure-region-thailand AWS Investment in Thailand The upcoming AWS Asia Pacific (Bangkok) Region is the latest in AWS’s ongoing investments in Thailand to provide customers with advanced and secure cloud technologies. Since 2020, AWS has launched 10 Amazon CloudFront edge locations in Bangkok. Amazon CloudFront is a highly secure and programmable content delivery network (CDN) that accelerates the delivery of data, videos, applications, and APIs to users worldwide with low latency and high transfer speeds. In 2020, AWS launched AWS Outposts in Thailand. AWS Outposts is a family of fully managed solutions delivering AWS infrastructure and services to virtually any on-premises or edge location for a truly consistent hybrid experience. AWS plans to deepen its investment in Thailand with the launch of an upcoming AWS Local Zone in Bangkok. AWS Local Zones are a type of AWS infrastructure deployment that places compute, storage, database, and other select services closer to large population, industry, and IT centers, enabling customers to deliver applications that require single-digit millisecond latency to end users. To support the growth in cloud adoption across Thailand, AWS continues to invest in upskilling local developers, students, and the next generation of IT leaders in Thailand through programs like AWS re/Start, AWS Academy, and AWS Educate. These AWS education programs help learners of all backgrounds and experiences prepare for careers in the cloud. From college courses to full-time training programs and self-paced learning content, AWS education programs offer access to skills training that can help individuals begin or further their cloud career. Eight Thai higher education institutions in Bangkok, Chiang Rai, and Pathum Thani have incorporated AWS Academy courses into their curriculums. AWS also works directly with organizations like Siam Cement Group to help build in-demand cloud skills and train employees. AWS plans to collaborate with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand on a skilling plan and provide support to train more than 1,200 employees with cloud skills, on-demand digital courses, and facilitated training events so that government employees can develop the skills needed to implement cloud technologies at scale, make better data-driven business decisions, and innovate new services to drive improved outcomes for citizens. To continue fostering entrepreneurship in Thailand, AWS offers support to early-stage startups through the AWS Activate program. This program provides access to guidance and one-on-one time with AWS experts, technical support, business mentorship, and the opportunity to access up to $100,000 in AWS service credits—all at no charge. AWS also works with the venture capital community, startup accelerators, and incubators to help startups grow in the cloud. In Thailand, this includes accelerator organizations such as AIS The Startup and Stormbreaker to support the rapid growth of their portfolio companies. In 2021, AWS expanded its Startup Ramp program to ASEAN. This program is dedicated to supporting early-stage startup entrepreneurs as they build, launch, and grow solutions in health, digital government, smart cities, agriculture, and space technology. 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Evocative Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire 9 INAP Data Centers

Evocative | September 15, 2022

Evocative, a global provider of Internet infrastructure, announces today its intent to acquire the majority of INAP’s data center facilities. The acquisition will consist of 9 data centers, including colocation and related network services. The acquisition of INAP’s data centers adds to Evocative’s existing data center footprint with new facilities in Boston, New Jersey, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles (2), Silicon Valley (2), and Seattle. With the facilities acquired from INAP, Evocative’s portfolio increases to 20 operating data center colocation facilities and 60+ global Points of Presence. In addition to the data center asset acquisition, Evocative also plans to welcome several INAP employees associated with the INAP data center business to the Evocative team. In doing so, the company will grow by 30%. The acquisition is expected to close within the next few weeks, bringing Evocative’s data center presence to: 20 carrier neutral Tier II and Tier III data centers in the United States 1,080,000 square feet of data center space with significant expansion space 108 MW of available power with an additional 25% expansion capability Over 500+ carriers across the portfolio including direct public cloud on-ramps 2,000+ carrier, content, and enterprise clients “Foremost, we welcome our new clients and employees to Evocative. We are honored and humbled to be your new partner. We are excited to share the strength of Evocative's digital infrastructure capabilities with our clients. “We know the importance of enterprise digital enablement. We built a company that offers a comprehensive suite of solutions from the physical foundation up the stack to enable the delivery of highly secure, hosted data services,” Khalili added. Arman Khalili, Founder and CEO of Evocative With organic growth and its acquisition strategy further advanced by the INAP data center purchase, Evocative has emerged as a leading enterprise digital infrastructure provider. Evocative is well positioned to continue its exponential growth with a clear focus on providing best-in-class IT infrastructure and a full suite of services. The acquisition is expected to close in Q3, 2022, following the standard closing process. About Evocative Evocative is a global leader in enterprise-class data center, bare metal, network, cloud, and managed services solutions that enable exceptional digital experiences. Evocative’s global footprint includes interconnected data centers and points of presence supporting over 68,000 servers across strategically located metros in North America, Europe, and Asia regions. Through organic growth and strategic acquisition, the company continues to expand its presence to power enterprise workloads at the edge. Evocative is dedicated to helping drive digital businesses forward, now and in the decades to come.

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Inspur Information Partners with Atos Poland to Bring Leading IT Infrastructure Solutions to Local Customers

Inspur Information | November 28, 2022

Inspur Information, a leading IT infrastructure solutions provider, is expanding its local capabilities in Europe, signing a cooperation agreement with Atos Poland. As the latest channel supplier addition, Atos’s value-added expertise will further strengthen Inspur’s commitment to providing leading IT infrastructure solutions to the European market by strengthening Inspur’s local solutions and services capabilities for a superior customer experience. A cooperation for leading IT infrastructure solutions Atos Poland is a part of Atos Group, present on the Polish market since 2000. Currently delivering world class services in digital transformation, decarbonisation, cybersecurity, cloud and high-performance computing, providing tailored end-to-end solutions for all industries. Inspur Information and Atos Poland have formed a new partnership in IT infrastructure that will give Atos Poland complete access to Inspur’s comprehensive server portfolio and storage devices to provide the best possible IT solutions to its Polish customers with a potential of expansion to other European markets. Through this cooperation, Inspur Information will better leverage its rich experience and expertise in full-stack AI solutions, liquid-cooling technologies and emerging applications to empower the intelligent transformation of local customers, and power Atos’s leading IaaS, smart city, and IoT solutions. "I am very happy to announce the cooperation agreement between Atos and Inspur. “Inspur and Atos joining forces will offer innovative and sustainable solutions to our clients in Poland with better service and accessibility than ever before.” Jay Zhang, VP of Inspur Global Business and CEO of Inspur Europe “As a global leader in digital transformation, we are thrilled to be using Inspur’s world-class IT infrastructure solutions in our tailored end-to-end IT solutions. Inspur has rich, innovative, and leading products which have been widely used for both the cloud and AI,” said Tomasz Radomski, CEO, Atos Polska. “Our customers will enjoy greater access to more powerful solutions that can handle any scenario.” Strong channel partnerships for strong growth “In Europe, for Europe” is Inspur’s commitment to the EU market. It is rooted in the concept that being local creates better solutions and better experiences for the customer. Inspur has made channel partnerships key to its business strategy, anticipating a majority of its business in Europe will come through channel partners over the next three years. Inspur Information is committed to providing leading products and solutions to European customers and together with its partners, plans to achieve a double-digit growth annually. About Inspur Information Inspur Information is a leading provider of data center infrastructure, cloud computing, and AI solutions. It is the world’s 2nd largest server manufacturer. Through engineering and innovation, Inspur Information delivers cutting-edge computing hardware design and extensive product offerings to address important technology sectors such as open computing, cloud data center, AI, and deep learning. Performance-optimized and purpose-built, our world-class solutions empower customers to tackle specific workloads and real-world challenges.

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