Much like the public cloud (and countless other technologies) before it, hyperconverged infrastructure has rapidly gone from experimental to mainstream.
This is true across industries, as business and IT leaders recognize the broad benefits of HCI. These include rapid deployment, streamlined management, simplified backup and disaster recovery, ease of updating and low total cost of ownership. And a 2019 article by Credit Union Business notes that these benefits are especially helpful for smaller financial firms and larger financial institutions with remote offices.
“Hyperconverged infrastructure is designed as a replacement for 3-2-1 architecture to eliminate excess cost and complexity,” Credit Union Business notes. “Therefore, it can benefit any size financial services organization that requires a robust virtualization environment. However, the extreme simplicity of a hyperconverged infrastructure makes it highly beneficial in use cases where IT staff is limited, for instance smaller branch offices and credit unions.”
Firms Find Common Use Cases for Appliances
Distributed IT and Remote Offices/Branch Offices: “HCI is a perfect match for edge computing and remote office/branch office deployment,” VMware notes. “It delivers a single, low-cost infrastructure solution with integrated compute, storage, management and networking. In addition, the right HCI solution can be easily scaled up or down and is flexible enough to accommodate changing needs — exactly what financial firms with remote offices and banks need.”
Virtual Desktop Deployment: Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) was one of the earliest use cases that helped HCI to earn widespread adoption. With its need for high input/output per second, low latency and rapid expandability, VDI is a great fit for HCI.
Business-Critical Applications: While some firms initially limited their hyperconvergence investments to their VDI environments, VMware notes, many are now migrating their business applications to HCI. “Older architectures simply can’t deliver without overprovisioned storage, expensive purpose-built hardware and management tools designed for silos,” states VMware. “In contrast, HCI offers a simple, distributed scaled-out architecture, often optimized for high-performance flash devices, that puts IT back in charge of the applications most important to the business.”
Disaster Recovery: Uptime and availability are crucial in the financial sector, for obvious reasons. HCI’s built-in backup and recovery make the technology an attractive option. Also, because applications are spread across clusters of nodes, workloads can be automatically redistributed in the event of a node failure, leading to increased resiliency.
HCI Supports Emerging Technologies Like Blockchain
In addition to replacing three-tier data center architecture for existing workloads, Nutanix sees promise for HCI to help financial institutions to support emerging technologies like fintech and blockchain. In particular, Nutanix notes, financial institutions rolling out HCI for these workloads will benefit from the following: simple provisioning; enhanced control, security and compliance; better setup for development and testing; and application delivery across multicloud environments.
“This hybrid and multicloud architecture addresses the concerns of both fintech startups and financial institutions,” Nutanix notes. “Financial institutions looking to develop, pilot and implement fintech and blockchain solutions can build labs and go into production without having to compromise their governance, risk and compliance policies.”