Why your next IT upgrade could be 'hyperconverged'

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Why your next IT upgrade could be 'hyperconverged'
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Dell EMC

Dell EMC's VxRail family starts with the G series. It runs VMware's virtualisation software on Dell EMC hardware with nodes featuring single or dual Xeon E5-2600 processors, at least 64GB of RAM, six drive bays (with a minimum of 200GB of cache SSD, 3.6TB of hybrid storage or 3.84TB of all-flash storage), and either two 10Gb Ethernet or four Gigabit Ethernet ports. Between three and 64 nodes can be clustered.

Dell EMC also sells systems using the Nutanix Xpress software running on PowerEdge servers. The XC430 Xpress is a one-node system with dual Xeon processors, at least 64GB of RAM, one SSD (400GB to 1.9TB), up to three hard drives (2, 4 or 6TB each), and at least one Gigabit Ethernet port. Three or four nodes are deployed together. The XC430 Xpress is said to be suitable for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), SQL Server and other workloads.

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

The HDS Unified Compute Platform (UCP) HC (hyperconverged) V240 has a minimum configuration of one eight-core Xeon processor, 32GB of RAM, two 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 3.6TB of hybrid storage (all-flash models in the UCP HC family provide deduplication and compression) with a 400GB SSD for caching, and VMware virtualisation software.

A minimum of two nodes is required, and up to 64 nodes can be clustered. HDS is somewhat vague about the capacity of the V240, saying only that “the UCP HC appliance is sized to run approximately 120 average-sized, general-purpose, data centre VMs or 250 virtual desktops with no restrictions on application type” without qualifying that statement in terms of the model (V240, V240F, V210, V210F) or configuration.


Earlier this year, HPE acquired hyperconvergence specialist SimpliVity. The HPE SimpliVity 380 is a hyperconverged node based on the HPE ProLiant DL380 server. Specifications include dual Xeon E5 processors (allowing eight to 22 cores per node), dual 10GbE ports, and a minimum of 256GB RAM and five 1.92TB SSDs. Those SSDs give an effective capacity of 6-12TB, depending on the data being stored, thanks to compression and deduplication. Each node supports a "large number" of VMware virtual machines.

A minimum of two nodes is recommended, and up to 32 nodes can be used together. The number of nodes in a cluster can be adjusted up or down as required.


A “small” NetApp hyperconverged system is somewhat larger than most of the other products mentioned here, comprising at least two compute nodes and four storage nodes.

A small compute node has 16 cores, 256GB of RAM, four 25/10GbE and two Gigabit Ethernet ports, while a small storage node contains six 480GB SSDs with an effective capacity of 5.5 to 11TB. Small, medium and large nodes can be mixed and matched as required.


Nutanix Xpress is specifically aimed at small and mid-sized businesses. Each appliance can be configured with three or four nodes. Each node has 16 processor cores, at least 64GB of RAM, 480GB (or larger) SSD, dual hard drives (at least 2TB each), and Gigabit Ethernet. A minimal system is said to be good for running up to 10 virtual machines. At the other extreme, a fully spec'ed Xpress can run 100 virtual machines.

Nutanix's software includes support for the VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualisation platforms, as well as simplified management with sophisticated analytics, and multiple data protection capabilities. The storage subsystem includes deduplication, compression and automatic tiering.

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