Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past decade you know that the data center server footprint has been shrinking dramatically. With the advent of server virtualization and individual servers that can now have a TB or more of RAM, it is increasingly common to see what was once rows of traditional servers condensed into a single cabinet. CFOs love the reduced capital costs that server virtualization provides; CTOs love the increased asset utilization.
However, the “miracle” that is data center server virtualization is not without increase: rises in storage and network administration usually follow. In other words, a reduced physical footprint does not necessarily equate to a proportional reduction in IT management personnel. Internal company resources are now demanding faster, more complex, and more automated deployments of resources. In fact, data center virtualization has effectively introduced a whole host of new challenges that include not only the typical management of hundreds if not thousands of easily deployed server and/or desktop operating systems, but also the overlaid applications and physical hosts, along with their corresponding network and storage requirements.
The modern datacenter is a software-defined datacenter; in today’s computing era, it is not only common but expected that a company will make full use of one or more virtualization technologies.
What is “Converged Infrastructure?”
IDC defines converged infrastructure as “the development of a data center (or closet) based on a set of standard elements (e.g., x86 processors for compute, PCI for the system bus, and 10GbE for internode and storage connections). By leveraging hypervisor and storage virtualization software, these “chunks” can then be dynamically partitioned and automatically rebalanced to support a pool of different business applications.”
In simple terms, it’s the marriage of storage, networking, and compute into an elegant, flexible, unified solution. Think if it as an infrastructure building block.
If you haven’t heard of who the major players are in the Converged Infrastructure world, check out IDC’s data below. As you can see this is a trend that is accelerating rapidly and is no small potatoes idea.
Top 3 Vendors, Worldwide Integrated Infrastructure, Q1 2014 (Revenues are in Millions)
|Vendor||1Q14 Revenue||1Q14 Market Share||1Q13 Revenue||1Q13 Market Share||1Q14/1Q13 Revenue Growth|
Source: IDC Worldwide Integrated Infrastructure & Platforms Tracker, June 26, 2014
As you can see the Cisco/NetApp collaboration called “FlexPod” is the current market leader. For a quick primer on what FlexPod is, check out this video below:
What Are the Benefits of “Converged Infrastructure”
By deploying a converged infrastructure such as a FlexPod that contains unified storage, servers, and networks, an IT organization will see the following benefits:
- Reduced risk with proven validated designs from the industry leaders in converged infrastructure.
- Massive boosts to operational efficiency and agility to meet key business initiatives.
- Lower cost per user without sacrificing scalability
- Improved consolidation of storage, server and network resources through the use of 10Gbe, FCoE, virtualization, and highly integrated storage.
- Cost reductions through the seamless ability to migrate data resources (servers and storage) non-disruptively
- Enable faster, more reliable recovery of data and applications.
- Reduce risk of data lost and associated costs.
Considerations in Moving to a “Converged Infrastructure”
For many organizations, moving from a traditional data center architecture to a converged model requires the right partner to help you achieve a successful rollout into the new future of your data center. Netech Corp is an industry leading in FlexPod converged solutions and has many years of successfully deploying this solution in all market verticals.
Check out some references from Netech customers who have implemented FlexPod solutions.
Please read the Authenticom Case Study
Group Health Cooperative:
Please read the Group Health Cooperative Case Study