Think back to the birth of your IT management infrastructure. When did a true plan fall into place? Generally, components of infrastructure include computing, data storage, networking, and server virtualization. It’s likely all four of these were originally set up based on the needs of a particular workload. A certain method of storage would have been chosen for a specific number of files and other specifications.

Unfortunately, these original infrastructures are difficult to manage. Since there is more than one vendor handling your components, it will likely cost you high premiums and can become overly complex. You’ll also find that multi-tiered vendor systems will complicate data transfer to the cloud.

Converged infrastructure (CI) and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) are the solutions to your foundational IT problems.

What is Converged Infrastructure?

At its core, CI is a simpler, more strategic, and cost-effective method of fulfilling your IT needs. In this method of infrastructure, server appliances are all delivered in one compact set of hardware. This means your IT department will only have to seek out a single vendor for end-to-end support. You’ll also save yourself from having to invest in large amounts of physical space for a variety of hardware — CI is a single box system.

What is Hyper-Converged Infrastructure?

HCI is similar to CI in that it amalgamates IT infrastructure components. But, with HCI, your infrastructure will be delivered from one vendor by means of software. This software will likely include a single dashboard where you can manage and deploy your entire IT framework.

What Are the Differences Between CI and HCI?

Though both CI and HCI solve multi-tiered IT infrastructure problems, they are very different. CI is hardware-based while HCI runs via software.

CI contains different hardware components, meaning you can take it apart and stand-alone devices can be used as is. For example, the server can be removed and utilized on its own and you can isolate and use individual storage units independently.

Because HCI uses software, all the components must be managed together. They’re generally less customizable and users relinquish some control over what they get from the initial installation. Yet, using software means you can start with a certain amount of storage and increase as needed at a relatively low cost. CI physical hardware must be purchased and installed when more space is required, which can wind up costing a lot.

From a starting cost standpoint, HCI will be more expensive since you must buy software licences and the like. But opt for HCI if you’d prefer a higher initial cost but much lower maintenance fees in the future.


As a data storage service that offers cloud protection, StorageCraft has opted for the best in data technology. Contact us today to learn more about planning your IT infrastructure and how to incorporate the StorageCraft Recovery Solution.

View Comments

  • you missed so many important factors. just don't bother writing an article like this if you don't provide all the information, its far too dumbed down. you have probably lead astray some poor network/system admin who will choose to back up to disk and sacrifice his companies data retention for cost. you don't know the cost of the average company to lose recoverable data.

    • Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for your comments. Yep, there is so much to talk about with this topic. What information would you like to see in more detail? We're always looking to talk about the tech that interests our readers as well as what interests us.


  • This appears to no longer work on their 6.1 and 6.1.1 versions. I tried FAT32 and NTFS partitions as well.

    It appears they switched to some sort of linux boot to do this.

  • The price of a microlized hypervisor is in case of Hyper-V, that it is to large to get fully loaded into the RAM. This could have backdraws if you lost the contact to the boot volume. I found an impressive demonstration about this topic @Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8ZF0ez0iH0
    In case of this, it seems VMware has still the better product.

  • Well done to Guy & Casey it's an excellent eBook, well worth reading and well worth keeping a copy close to hand!

    • Hi John,

      I'm glad you asked! I believe your company is in New Zealand, is that correct? You'll probably want to contact our sales team in Australia at sales[at]storagecraft.com.au or call +61 2 8061 4444. If you are interested in signing up in the United States or Canada, you can either submit an inquiry here: http://www.storagecraft.com/shadow-protect-msp.php or contact our sales team directly at 801.545.4700 or via email at sales[at]storagecraft.com.

  • This is good news that Shadowprotect will be supporting Linux OS. What if we use the current iso to take backup of linux OS, can it work for backup and restore? Let me know.

    • Hello Vinod,

      Yes, we believe this is great news that StorageCraft will be releasing a CrossPlatform version of ShadowProtect which supports both the Windows and Linux platforms. We're very excited about this news.

      The current release of the ShadowProtect Recovery Environment - CrossPlatform is a positive step towards supporting the Linux OS. Currently this CrossPlatform Recovery Environment is intended only for backing up and recovering Windows OS systems (including Windows 8 and Server 2012). Another release will have the complete tools for backing up and recovering both Linux and Windows systems. I can tell you that this later release will be out before the end of the year. Until then, thank you for your kind comments and we we're looking forward to providing you with more information about this exciting update in the near future. Check back with us again soon.

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