Five Things about Switchless HCI Solutions

Switchless HCI is a growing trend in hyper-converged infrastructure. HCI already simplifies your infrastructure with virtualized compute, storage, and networking. Switchless HCI can further simplify your infrastructure and reduce costs and it’s a great option for small-to-medium sized businesses, remote office/branch office (ROBO), edge, or IoT deployments.

Here’s five things you should know about switchless HCI solutions.

1. Switchless HCI simplifies infrastructure and reduces cost

Switchless HCI has a two or three-node design, where the nodes are directly connected. This eliminates the cost and complexity of purchasing and configuring a hardware switch and networking. With a full mesh interconnect there’s less management and risk that switch failures or reboots might cause an interruption to the interconnect network traffic. There is relatively little difference in performance, and they are extremely simple to setup with minimal cabling.

It’s ideal for smaller deployments such as SMB, ROBO, edge and IoT environments where there is limited physical space for data center hardware and limited budgets. Server nodes are available in 1U and 2U rack form factors, and an exclusive mini tower design is also available with our Kepler-47 G2.

2. It’s powered by Azure Stack HCI and validated by Microsoft & Intel

DataON switchless HCI solutions are powered by Azure Stack HCI, a hyper-converged Windows Server 2019 cluster that uses validated hardware to run virtualized workloads on-premises.

Azure Stack HCI solutions bring together highly virtualized compute, storage, and networking on industry-standard x86 servers and components. It features the same Hyper-V based software-defined compute, storage, and networking as Azure Stack and shares similar testing and validation criteria.

Azure Stack HCI is designed to simplify hybrid cloud scenarios, helping customers combine data center computing and Windows Server technologies with Azure management services integration.

All DataON solutions for Azure Stack HCI are validated by Microsoft and Intel and vigorously benchmark-tested for today’s workloads so business realize fast & smooth deployments and optimal performance.

3. Azure Stack HCI supports the only “true” two-node solution

Unlike VMware or Nutanix, which require a third node for a quorum, Azure Stack HCI is the only offering that delivers a “true” two-node solution. Azure Stack HCI employs lightweight quorum witness technology so you can choose from a USB drive, file share or Azure Cloud, as a witness. This is not only more efficient, but it reduces costs significantly, while VMware and Nutanix require an additional and costly third server node.

View the 2-node networking video

4. You’ll still get great performance and resiliency with switchless HCI

DataON switchless HCI solutions can be configured for high performance with all-NVMe flash storage. It has built-it support for the latest technologies such as Intel®  Xeon ® Scalable processors, Intel® Optane™, NVMe, persistent memory, and RDMA networking.

An important feature in switchless HCI is data resiliency. Azure Stack HCI spreads copies of the volumes quickly across multiple nodes whether performing reads or writes, repairs, or optimizing data. Depending on how many nodes you have, you can choose two-way mirroring, two-way nested resiliency, and three-way mirroring.

In a three-node configuration, you can create three-way mirror volumes for maximum resiliency, which can safely tolerate at least two hardware problems on the drive or server at a time.

5. You can expand from your original 2- or 3-node switchless cluster

DataON switchless HCI solutions utilize the same 1U and 2U rack servers as our standard HCI series solutions but use a full mesh interconnect. As you needs grow, you can expand by adding server nodes and a networking switch. Azure Stack HCI scales up to 16 nodes and over 400 drives, for up to 1PB of storage per cluster. Storage efficiency and performance improve predictably at scale.

If you’re in the market for a data center refresh or looking to add ROBO, edge or IoT deployments to your infrastructure, DataON has a high-performance Azure Stack HCI solution for you.

Read our customer stories and see how our solutions for Azure Stack HCI have helped small, medium and enterprise sized customers succeed in their IT goals.

Contact us for a detailed consultation with our sales team and we can help turn your IT challenge into a success.