Converged infrastructure platforms are fully preintegrated servers, traditional storage arrays, and networking hardware stacks. HCI platforms are solutions that deliver compute, software-defined storage, and networking infrastructure services in a cluster of industry-standard servers.
HCI extends the converged infrastructure model by incorporating the virtualization capabilities of software-defined storage (SDS). HCI collapses into a server the core components of the traditional data center—compute and storage, effectively eliminating expensive and complex SAN environments.
Because HCI is software-defined—which means that the infrastructure operations are logically separated from the physical hardware—the integration between components is much tighter than with converged infrastructure. HCI manages everything as a single system through a common toolset.