Once a niche technology, primarily attractive to organizations with specific needs, such as streamlining operations at branch offices, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is rapidly finding a wide customer base.

HCI is an IT framework that combines storage, computing and networking into a single system; hyperconverged platforms include a hypervisor for virtualized computing, software-defined storage, and virtualized networking.

Enterprises planning an HCI adoption can select from two main approaches: hardware or software. HCI hardware typically comes in the form of an integrated appliance, a hardware/software package created and delivered by a single vendor. Appliance vendors include Dell EMC, Nutanix and HPE/SimpliVity. A software-only offering allows customers to deploy HCI on a bring-your-own-technology basis. HCI software vendors include Maxta and VMware (vSAN).

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