CI vs. HCI: What’s Best for Your Business

CI vs. HCI: What’s Best for Your Business
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With advancements in technology, we are seeing more complexity being introduced into most business infrastructures. To lessen this, businesses need to aim to lessen the tasks in setting up and maintaining a proper IT environment for businesses. This is why the concept of Converged (CI) and Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) was made to help simplify the complexity of procurement and management tasks required by the diversity of today’s hybrid environment.

To give a brief overview of the two, CI takes a hardware-based approach while HCI takes a software-based approach. CI starts with a single building block that include the computing, networking, storage and server virtualization. This building block is already tested by vendors to ensure it is fully optimized from the hardware and software side to avoid interoperability issues. This approach also has the benefit of allowing each component to act on its intended purpose. A server can be separated and used as a server while also set up to be compatible with your business’ hardware and software.

In comparison, HCI is often used on private clouds, where all computing, networking and storage components are virtualized. A hypervisor is used to create flexible virtualization for solutions like remote desktops while being able to manage the computing, networking and storage functions more efficiently. This allows companies to pool their resources and create virtual machines efficiently and save costs through inexpensive storage options.

Choosing Between CI & HCI

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Both CI and HCI have their benefits to a business, one is not superior over the other. Deciding which, however, is best suited for your business will depend on numerous factors. CI for example, allows for better scalability as its created like building blocks which lets companies plug and play hardware. Applications are also easier to optimize and run in a CI setup as compared to the traditional approach. This is especially true when considering specialized applications such as Oracle, SAP, or any other resource heavy application. Also, with the reduced software and hardware, it can bring down initial capital expenditures. This makes it suitable for companies that put emphasis on scaling their systems quickly or even those with resource intensive applications who are also looking to keep their initial capital expenditures low.

HCI on the other hand, allows for faster provisioning and customization of private clouds since all components in the system are virtualized. HCI also allows for IT to work on more different tasks as remote locations or branch offices can be managed through centralized control and policies. As for cost, it can even be cheaper than HCI due to the inexpensive hardware can be used in an HCI setup. Companies who are focused on using cloud apps, big data analytics, and app development would benefit from an HCI system. Many organizations as well who are looking to extend and grow their IT infrastructure through scalability and management that HCI brings should consider it as well.

If you would like to learn more about what infrastructure best suits your business, please contact us at and we would be happy to go into more detail with your team!

Tech Talk: Hyperconverged Infrastructure Benefits to Businesses

Tech Talk: Hyperconverged Infrastructure Benefits to Businesses
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Today’s technologies are enabling companies to operate their business in ways that would not have been possible a few years back. This, however, has created a lot more complexity within the traditional infrastructure and can drive the costs higher if not addressed. If your business has been experiencing this very issue, you might have come across the term Hyperconverged Infrastructure or HCI. But what exactly is HCI and how can it help your business?

What is HCI?

Hyperconverged Infrastructure Benefits to Businesses HCI

To know what HCI is, lets step back and first go through what we are familiar with, the traditional model of infrastructure. The traditional model uses three proprietary purpose-built hardware for computing, storage, and networking. They are separate from one another and usually have specialists from IT handling each aspect. The benefit of this is you can independently add-on per component when you need to scale without interrupting your business environment and applications requirements are easier to meet. However, the downsides are that it takes more space physically, businesses need to allocate more manpower, and costs can become cumbersome.

A converged infrastructure improves on the traditional model to address its shortcomings. By bringing all three components into one rack, you are able to monitor and control all three in a single window. Saving you physical space and the need for more manpower. However, since all three components are now in a single rack, it is not as easy to alter it when needed. A huge loss to the businesses ability to be flexible.

This is where HCI comes in to solve these problems. Instead of placing the three main components into one rack, it places onto one industry-standard x86 server. A hypervisor is used to manage all the servers used to create a cluster that governs your IT environment. Software-defined storage is also usually used to create an inexpensive way to manage storage throughout the cluster. It uses the local disks of the servers and allocates data throughout the cluster. This is a key method on how scaling is easily done in an HCI setup.  

HCI Benefits for Businesses

Hyperconverged Infrastructure Benefits to Businesses benefits

Simplicity – HCI frameworks are simple to manage and easy to deploy due to its node-based approach. Compared to the traditional model which can become complex as it is expanded with new applications and services. The unified and virtualized nature of HCI makes it simple to expand and to manage.

Cost Management – HCI environments costs are wholly dependent on your IT Teams. Convergence can also help reduce the time and cost required for software upgrades and hardware replacement due to built-in failover capabilities.

Scalability – You can think of HCI nodes as preconfigured building blocks. These blocks can be used by your IT team to easily scale resources up or down at anytime with little effort. However, there are limits to the number of nodes that can be added per cluster, and it needs to be in specific increments. The cloud may be able to scale indefinitely, but this also can lead to increased complexity.

Speed – HCI’s node based approached can significantly increase the deployment speed regardless of resource type. From storage to computing, networking or security, additional solutions can be integrated at anytime without the fear operational conflict with one another.

To learn more about HCI’s capabilities and benefits to your business, you can contact through to learn more!

Cisco Meraki Hits 1 Million network Milestone!

Cisco Meraki Hits 1 Million network Milestone!

On May 23, 2017, about 10 years since the first shipped Meraki product, the Meraki network community reached a milestone of 1 million networks!

This comes as no surprise as more and more industries demand that their IT is able do more with less which may include tasks such as:

  • Supporting corporate devices and any preferred user devices
  • Transitioning to wireless offices and the ability to support remote working
  • Enabling massive device expansion and constant digital collaboration
  • Ensuring zero downtime and constant change
  • And most importantly, Mission Focused Technology, technology which drives the main function of industries such as education in schools and patient care in healthcare.

With so many tasks to deliver, IT teams will need to have simple infrastructures which will allow them to be nimble while being able to adapt with the business.  It was at this time Cisco started shipping simpler IT, managed via the cloud, through the Meraki Mini which was well received within the IT community.  IT teams were grossly overloaded and spread thin worldwide under the load of legacy systems with clunky interfaces so the then emerging cloud option given was a helpful option to help solve these issues.  A far cry from today, cloud services have become an integral part of our daily and corporate lives, even more so as the confidence is growing in the dependability and security of the cloud.

Meraki Mini (2006)                                               Meraki MV (2017)

We are happy to say that we partnered with one of the pioneers of cloud-native IT and will continue to support them the best way we can so that our customers will be able to enjoy all the benefits!  To learn more about their products, please see our Cisco product page here.