What Is Converged Infrastructure?
Converged architectures, the remedy for IT sprawl.
The difference between “soon” and “now” can make or break a modern business. Particularly in tough economic conditions, the response time a company shows to its customers and partners can be one of the most deciding facets of total value. All other things being equal, the company that takes a week to do what another company can do in six hours will soon fail.
In our prior article on converged storage, we discussed the evolution of hardware “stacks” dedicated to specific applications. We also touched on how virtualization and consolidated architectures were quickly superseding the old dedicated stack model. Dedicated hardware leads to sprawl, and sprawl is inherently inefficient over time.
Converged architectures remedy this.
On a broader scale, the convergence trend applies not just to storage but to the entire data center. When implemented properly, converged infrastructure has the ability to improve IT operations significantly and transform the organization’s applications agility. Most often, this can be done by building on top of at least some existing IT investments rather than requiring a “rip and replace” approach.
“Converged infrastructure is about using common hardware across (customers’) portfolio and putting different software loads on it to do different things, essentially giving that hardware different personalities,” says Russ Fellows, senior partner at Evaluator Group. “I’ve seen demos of people taking a blade and changing it from running a hypervisor and Windows instances and then putting [an HP LeftHand] P4000 software load on it and turning it into storage. The converged model gives people a lot of flexibility.”
William Van Winkle has been a full-time tech writer and author since 1998. He specializes in a wide range of coverage areas, including unified communications, virtualization, Cloud Computing, storage solutions and more. William lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with his wife and 2.4 kids, and—when not scrambling to meet article deadlines—he enjoys reading, travel, and writing fiction.