Building your own fault-tolerant infrastructure is a kind of ritual for an administrator. In this article, we will analyze in detail what exactly converged and hyperconverged infrastructures are, in what way they are similar, and what is the critical difference.

Converged and hyperconverged infrastructures make the support of virtual desktop infrastructure and desktop virtualization easier, as they are created with a focus on simple installation and complicated issues.

The converged platform is made up of four major data center elements in one package: computing and storage equipment, network gadgets, and server virtualization instruments. Hyperconvergent infrastructure enables the deeper incorporation of a greater number of objects with the help of development tools.

In both converged and hyperconverged systems, all the main elements are compatible in working with each other. Thanks to this, you will be able to purchase the necessary storage devices and network devices for your company at the same time, and they are known to be of great importance in the infrastructure of virtual desktops. This makes it possible to make the deployment of such architecture easier – something that many companies who need to virtualize desktop systems have been waiting for for so long and will be happy about.

Despite their value and innovativeness, there are several issues regarding the purpose and discrepancies of these technologies. So let’s try to figure out what functionality converged and hyperconverged infrastructures offer and how they differ.

What is converged infrastructure?

Converged infrastructure integrates computing devices, storage, network equipment, and virtualization instruments into a single frame, allowing them to be handled from a single location. Performance capabilities may also include the monitoring of the virtualized environment, depending on the layout and manufacturer.

The hardware included in the converged infrastructure package is pre-configured to support any target tasks: virtual desktop infrastructures, databases, special applications, and so on. But in fact, you don’t have enough freedom to change the selected configuration.

Regardless of the chosen method of expanding the remote desktop infrastructure conditions, you should be aware that any successive scalability will be expensive and time-consuming. Including individual elements turns out to be difficult and deprives you of many of the advantages of a converged infrastructure. Adding work machines and increasing storage potential in the corporate infrastructure can be just as costly, implying the importance of proper preparation for any deployment of the virtual desktop infrastructure.

On the other hand, all components of the converged infrastructure can operate for a long time. For instance, a full server of such architecture well even without other infrastructure components.

What is hyperconvergent infrastructure?

Hyperconvergent infrastructure was designed on the basis of convergent infrastructure and the concept of a software-defined cloud server. It integrates all of the elements of the data center we are familiar with into one system. All four main elements of the converged system are in place, but sometimes it also contains extra features, such as backup software, snapshot features, information deduplication, intermediate compression, improvement of the global computing network (GWS), and much more. Convergent infrastructure primarily relies on hardware, and a software-defined data center often adjusts to any hardware. In a hyperconverged infrastructure solution, these two capabilities are combined.

Hyperconverged infrastructure hyperconverged infrastructure is supported by a single provider. It can be managed as a single system using a single set of tools. To broaden the infrastructure, simply install frames of required gadgets and systems (for instance, storage) in the main system unit. And this is done literally on the fly.

Since the hyperconverged infrastructure is software-defined (that is, the functionality of the system is logically divided from the physical equipment), the mutual integration of components is denser than in a conventional converged infrastructure, and the elements themselves must be nearby to work correctly. This allows you to use a hyperconverged infrastructure to assist with even more workflows than in the case of the standard converged infrastructure. This is due to the fact that it has the possibility of changing the principle of definition and configuration at the software level. In addition, you can make it work with specialized applications and workloads, which preconfigured convergent infrastructures do not allow.

Hyperconverged infrastructure is particularly helpful for operating with virtual desktop infrastructure because it allows you to perform rapid scaling without additional costs. Often, in the case of the classic virtual desktop infrastructure, everything is completely different – companies need to buy more resources before scaling, or wait until virtual desktops use the allocated space and network resources, and then, in fact, add new infrastructure.

What to choose?

Both scenarios require serious money and time costs. But, in the case of HCI, if you need to expand the storage, you can simply install the required devices into an existing stack. Scaling can be done quickly – within the time required for the delivery of equipment. At the same time, you will not have to go through the full procedure of re-evaluation and reconfiguration of the corporate infrastructure.

In addition, when switching from physical PCs to virtual work systems, you will need devices to perform all the computing operations that laptops and PCs usually perform. Hyperconvergent infrastructure will help a lot with this since it often comes bundled with a large amount of flash memory, which has a positive impact on the performance of virtual desktops. This improves the speed of I/O operations, glides smoothly works under heavy intensities, and enables virus checking and other types of monitoring in the background (without distracting users).

The flexibility of a hyperconverged infrastructure makes it more scalable and cost-effective compared to a converged one since it has the ability to incorporate computing and storage gadgets as needed. The cost of initial capital investments for both infrastructures is high, but in the long term, the cost of the invested funds should pay off.


The main distinction between hyperconverged and converged infrastructure is that the first type is based on software, and the second is on hardware solutions. Large companies use hyperconvergence, but small organizations or new players in the IT market can start with CI solutions. In this case, expensive software is not required, and the converged environment includes only a server, a data storage gadget, network hardware, and programs for administration and robotization.

And though converged and hyperconverged infrastructure is nearly identical in some sense, HCI takes the very same design approach a step forward by improving IT resource integration for simpler integrated management.