Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) uses clustered local storage to eliminate storage area networks, but its true value comes from the way it simplifies operational tasks. HCI eliminates disk groups, RAID configurations and Fibre Channel networks, which makes it easier to go from hardware on the loading dock to a virtualization platform. IT administrators can achieve some of the benefits of HCI using a traditional hardware setup with wizards and automation. The most common fallacy I see in IT marketing is comparing a new product with the technology it replaces. For example, buyers shouldn’t assume that an HCI cluster with 16 nodes in 8U of rack space completely replaces a legacy server and hard disk implementation that takes up three full racks. A non-HCI setup might use a 2U all-flash array (AFA) and a small blade enclosure to replace the same three racks. The real performance comparison is not three racks to 8U, but rather an 8U HCI to 12U AFA and blades. Unequal comparisons also occur when companies look at the challenges of building a Fibre Channel network, a hard disk-based array and Gigabit Ethernet versus HCI with 10 GB Ethernet; this comparison is neither fair nor...