The interest in converged infrastructures is accelerating rapidly as more and more businesses understand the value they deliver. Gerry Carroll, Marketing Director at Logicalis UK, looks at some of the major benefits that businesses are realising today.
Traditionally, data centre resources have been put in place to address a specific need – to support a particular technology, application or business unit. Over time this approach has spawned twin challenges for the CIO: siloed architectures and IT sprawl.
The siloed nature of the traditional data centre prohibits the sharing of data between applications and lines of business. IT sprawl, the result of years of adding new solutions – new silos – to the data centre, drives spiralling costs and holds back agility, productivity, flexibility and innovation.
So what is converged infrastructure and what are the benefits?
In essence, a converged infrastructure unifies the core data centre components – servers, storage, networks, applications and IT resource management – in a single, integrated IT platform. There are a number of approaches to acquiring this kind of unified environment, but typically businesses purchase converged infrastructures, such as the FlexPod, VersaStack and Converged System (from key vendors Cisco, NetApp, IBM & HP) as a whole validated solution rather than buying separate systems.
It won’t come as a shock to hear that it is this integrated, seamless approach to infrastructure that is driving many of the benefits that businesses are realising today, and which are getting IT teams excited.
For example, deploying a converged infrastructure means IT can stop juggling systems, and instead standardise on one set of technologies for all compute, network and storage needs. Similarly, a converged infrastructure represents a single, pre-validated hardware platform, which makes it far easier for IT to manage the entire data centre environment.
But the benefits don’t begin and end with simplification. Convergence also offers:
- A foundation for advanced technology such as IT automation
- Tightly-integrated resources to dynamically meet processing and storage needs
- Improved application performance
- Lower costs for with data centre deployment, management and maintenance
- Shortened IT service-implementation times
- More effective utilisation of existing IT assets.
In essence, a converged infrastructure platform brings new levels of efficiency into the data centre, helping businesses meet today’s end-user needs while also setting the groundwork for transitioning to the cloud in the future. And by deploying a high-performance, edge-to-core solution – from the data centre out to the mobile workforce – businesses can boost IT performance with a more energy-efficient network, increased flexibility, and improved centralised management.
An IT innovation that delivers smarter IT, lower costs, drives greater efficiency and simplifies management, while offering a stepping stone to the cloud and a platform for strategic IT investment? I’d say that’s plenty to get excited about…