What are the key differences between converged and hyper-converged solutions?

Hi community,

How does hyper-converged differ from converged? Is one better than the other? 

When would one choose converged, rather than hyper-converged? Are there pros and cons to each type of solution?

Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Community Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
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PeerSpot user
5 Answers
Technical Solutions Architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Dec 14, 2021

The key differences are scale, complexity and ease of use/management.  

Converged systems are more complex, assembled from multiple vendors using different management tools which allow systems to scale tremendously (Hundreds of servers and Multiple Peta-Bytes of Storage.  

Hyper-Converged systems are smaller, wrapped in a tight, easy to deploy shell that guides the user through system expansion, up to the nodal limits of ~32 servers.  Hyper-Converged systems rely on storage integrated into rack mount systems.  To assure stability, Hyper-Converged user choices are limited on storage and compute options.  These options have been well vetted and are fully supported by the HCI vendor.

Technical Solutions Architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Dec 16, 2021

@Steffen Hornung Note that in the above document, Nutanix claims a limit of 16 nodes supported under AWS.  Supported node scalability is determined by what the vendor or the underlying software maintains as limits. For example, as you note above, VMWare does not support a VSAN cluster greater than 64 nodes.  HPE's SImplivity, Dell's VxRail (Based on VMWare) and Cisco's Hyperflex all have 32 node limitations.  
As for Enterprise class applications beyond 62TB I see major Epic installations at large, integrated Health Care Organizations and SAP Hana for Major Retailers with Global Supply Chains.  That said - under the pre-COVID cost curve, creating compartmentalized applications that are regional in nature with DR/BC sites makes a lot of sense.  We just saw Ransomware attacks against cloud based Kronos Payroll Systems, killing them just prior to the Christmas Holidays, throwing customers a headache in their operational models at a time when they already had enough issues to deal with - and did not need to face another major Cyber threat.
From a strategic perspective of application design, it makes sense to compartmentalize.  The notion of running your entire business on a single HCI infrastructure is not a best practice and should not be encouraged for the reasons articulated above.  Lose the King, lose the game.  Best to have a lot of pawns as we deal with the current hybrid cloud and cyber space.

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Steffen Hornung - PeerSpot reviewer
Administrator at Neuberger Gebäudeautomation GmbH
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Aug 12, 2020

Oh, you cant get rid of hardware in any way. (damn you Apple for auto-correcting english back to german).

But it is true that hci is a software defined approach which has the advantage of delivering new features without new hardware.

Another thing that destinguishes hyperconerged solutions from converged ones is the scale-out nature: simply add more nodes to the system to support new workloads without losing performance because you add all types at once (compute, storage and networking).

Real User
Top 10
Aug 12, 2020

Hyper-converged is typically an "all in one box/rack" solution. It consists of compute, storage & network resources all tied together physically (and through software). 

Hyper-converged for a pro - is a complete solution. You don't have to architect it. All you have to know is how much "power" you need (what you want to do with it). While with converged infrastructure (which can still be 'software defined') you have to match and configure the components to work together. 

More often then not converged infrastructure is cheaper. You might already have the storage and networking resources, for example. And manufacturers put a premium on packaging the solution together. 

Audit Conseil: Sauvegarde at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Aug 12, 2020

Hyperconverged is a system cluster of at minimum 3 nodes. The system mirrors datas between nodes and runs virtual machines. 

Converged systems is anything between the classic server and hyperconverged platform. This converged concept was useful in waiting for hyperconverged development and should disappear in a near future.

It service manager at cerebra
Aug 12, 2020

converged infrastructure still incorporates hardware, running the technology natively on hardware. On the other hand, hype convergence is fully software-defined and completely integrated

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Related Questions
Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Community Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Oct 26, 2021
From my own research, it seems that Converged Infrastructure relies on hardware, whereas Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is software-based. What does this mean in practical terms? What are the pros and cons of each?
2 out of 11 answers
Co-Founder, Chairman & Digital Transformation Consultant at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Jun 18, 2020
In principle you’re right “Converged Infrastructure relies on hardware, whereas Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is software-based”. But there are further advances for software management of containers, VMs, storage, and networks within a single architecture. As a Red Hat partner, we are aware of coming developments based on Red Hat OpenShift which significantly simplify operations and provide complete management and portability across On-Prem, Hybrid, and Multi-Cloud environments.
it_user567912 - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner and CEO at Bitcon
Jun 18, 2020
Also in a converged infrastructure software is important. Converged for me is a combination of hardware components that are sold as a single solution and where a software layer is added to make the management easier. But the hardware solution consists mostly from individual server, storage and networking components.Most hyperconverged solutions goes further with integrating the storage layer into the server layer, removing a layer of hardware, and where the software inside the solution create a shared storage pool for the server stack. Automatically the management layer is also simplified just as with the converged solution... Less hardware (or differently used) and more software inside... I call it more a typical evolution of IT infrastructure... Know that converged and hyperconverged is a marketing thing and not really a product as such... I saw converged and hyperconverged solutions already 20 years ago before it even existed... Just look for what you need and pick the right solution... 
Head - Server and Storage at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Nov 6, 2017
Comparing the Dell FX2, Dell VRTX, Cisco UCS, Cisco HyperFlex, HPE Synergy; which one would have a clear edge over the others? Given the fact the each one would have a specific use case but for general purpose VMWare based (Windows and RHEL) workload utilizing EMC XtremeIO and Isilon, which one of these would be the best pick in today's time?
2 out of 18 answers
it_user728214 - PeerSpot reviewer
Unified Communications Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
Oct 30, 2017
Based on the options, i would actually go with HP Simplivity. The Simplivity lines allows for a complete hyperconverged box, with a minimal footprint. Though they claim to be a one stop shop, i would consider having a file level backup for day to day restore and recover points. Simplivity is also very scalable for growing offices.
it_user131394 - PeerSpot reviewer
Director at a comms service provider
Oct 30, 2017
I think the verdict is still out, but I personally would be leaning towards VMware based on a recent presentation I saw from them. Ed
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