February 13, 2017
In March 2016, Cisco unveiled their first hyperconvergence solution, the HyperFlex. Technology moves quickly, and in early February 2017, Cisco announced the release of HyperFlex 2.0. Whenever Cisco announces a major update of a technology solution, we try to compile the changes and improvements on our blog, but normally those updates concern applications. Yet, Cisco HyperFlex is a hardware solution. This update bears special importance, especially considering how new HyperFlex was to begin with.
HyperFlex and Hyperconverged Solutions
A hyperconverged strategy is the logical continuation of converged infrastructure with a few notable and unique aspects. In converged infrastructure, the storage, compute, and networking hardware in the data center are all designed to integrate together as a “data center in a box solution.” Simply buy X, Y, and Z; plug them in; and turn on your data center.
In converged infrastructure these components of the data center are all still distinct, independent devices. Hyperconvergence is a little different. In a hyperconverged infrastructure, the compute, storage, networking, and hypervisor are all combined into a single device. To add capacity, the owner of the HyperFlex or other hyperconverged solution need only purchase additional nodes. Hyperconverged infrastructure has also been described as the “software defined data center,” because the entire infrastructure can be managed remotely from a single interface.
What’s New in HyperFlex 2.0?
The HyperFlex 2.0 has two main distinctions from the original HyperFlex model.
- All Flash Storage: The most significant upgrade to the HyperFlex is that it can now be equipped with all flash storage. The original HyperFlex included disk or hybrid storage, but this is the first time an all flash strategy can be utilized. The all flash HyperFlex appears as variations of the two existing product models: the HyperFlex 220c and HyperFlex 240c.
- High-Throughput 40 Gbps Fabric: The new all flash HyperFlex models have the networking bandwidth to deliver on the high IOPS and performance of flash storage. HyperFlex 2.0 is equipped with 40 Gbps 3rdGeneration UCS fabric networking.
All Flash and Its Impact on Use Cases
In a previous blog, The Ins and Outs of Hyperconvergence, we listed a few use cases in which the HyperFlex proves valuable. The all flash component of the HyperFlex 2.0 further contributes to one of these use cases.
Consolidating the Data Center: One of the more compelling reasons to shift to a hyperconverged model is the consolidation of the data center. With each data center component combined into one device, the data center requires much less hardware overall. Now that the HyperFlex can include Flash, your environment can further benefit from the improved consolidation of flash compared to hard disk drives (HDD).
All Flash Is Here to Stay
HyperFlex 2.0 is further evidence of flash’s role in the future of storage. For critical applications, such as a VDI deployment, all flash and the HyperFlex 2.0 can ensure reliable performance. From converged to hyperconverged infrastructure, it seems like more and more, the future of the storage industry is in flash.
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