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Jun 26 2017

Red Hat Jumps Hyper-Convergence Train

From centralized to distributed to hyper-converged: The history of computing infrastructures often seems to evolve in a circular motion. Now the Linux market leader has started to support the most recent fashion with its introduction of Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure, integrated, software-defined, fully open source compute and storage platform designed for remote sites and edge deployments.

According to the official press announcement, Red Hat's new product addresses the needs of banks, power distributors and retailers – or more generally speaking, of organizations that "need to be able to offer the same infrastructure services in remote and branch offices as they run in their data center." Unfortunately, these remote and branch offices are quite often unprepared for the task, as they may lack space, power and cooling capabilities, and/or the experienced staff required to successfully run an on-premises copy of the central operation. Here's where Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure comes into play, a software-defined solution that helps remote employees to run a 'data center in a box.'

The key concept behind Red Hat's solution is identical with that of all other HCIs: The hypervisor, VMs and storage are all integrated on the same server hardware. That way, customers can save on capital expenditures, OpEx and deployment time, and it gets much easier for IT departments to roll out and manage a bunch of small data center mirrors to company sites. In short, Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure helps administrators to

  • Use servers as a clustered pool of integrated compute and storage resources
  • Virtualize business applications to improve resource utilization
  • Manage integrated compute-plus-storage resources with a simplified skill set from a single management interface

To achieve this, Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure uses a suite of time-tested key components that have saved as a basis for the company's virtualization efforts, namely

  • Red Hat Virtualization, the company's enterprise virtualization platform based on Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), the virtualization module that comes with the Linux kernel
  • Red Hat Gluster Storage (formerly Red Hat Storage Server), a flexible, agile SDS implementation based on the Gluster scale-out file system
  • A flavor of Red Hat Enterprise Linux to run in the guest VMs (SUSE Linux and Windows are also supported), and
  • The Ansible management and automation framework

Industry analysts have described the new solution as a "promising start" that can help solve remote site challenges and "lay the groundwork" for further software-defined efforts. For detailed info, please check out the product page and data sheet (PDF).


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