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December 2017, Vol. 8, No. 10

In a hyper-converged system, networking is still a missing link

When the subject of networking around hyper-converged infrastructure comes up, it's easy to understand why people get their wires crossed. In its strictest definition, HCI combines compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources in a single integrated software-based system, usually on commodity hardware supported by a single vendor. Gartner projected that hyper-converged systems will become mainstream, with a market for integrated systems worth about $5 billion by 2019, up from $2 billion in 2016. But it remains to be seen whether enterprises agree that a hyper-converged system bringing together networking, compute and storage technologies and managing them in-house proves a desirable option in the era of public cloud services from providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure. The networking piece is more complicated. Organizations have begun exploring hyper-convergence as a way to upgrade their networks and servers, as well as manage storage. But there is a general misconception that vendors will roll network ...

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