Converged infrastructures are capturing the attention of organizations who are hoping to drive down IT costs while increasing data center agility. As we will discuss in our upcoming webinar, “Is Convergence Right for You? – 4 Questions to Ask”, convergence is the next wave of virtualization. In this wave, compute, storage, and networking are converged into a single layer and are all delivered through the virtualization host; or at least that is the way a converged system is supposed to work. But as you will learn in the webinar, not all converged infrastructures are the same, and more than a few vendors are hijacking the term. How the converged architecture is designed is the first question to ask.
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Pre-Integrated is not Converged
Many of the solutions on the market that claim to be converged are not converged at all. At best they can be described as a pre-integrated solution. This type of solution is often a convergence of formerly standalone products and vendors. Often a server vendor, a storage vendor, and a networking vendor create an alliance to deliver it. While this solution type can reduce initial implementation time, its ongoing operational costs are typically the same as a solution that is purchased as separate components. Virtual machine management, storage management, and network management are often performed from separate consoles. In other words, there is little integration between them from an ongoing management perspective.
Software only Converged
The second converged design that IT professionals will encounter is a software only solution. This is typically a software defined storage offering that runs at the hypervisor layer on the physical hosts in the cluster. While these solutions may cause IT planners to create a more converged solution, they often require a more extensive implementation effort since all the various hardware components (compute, network, and storage) need to be sourced separately.
The third converged design takes the software only solution concept and couples it with commodity hardware to create a turnkey solution. While some flexibility is lost in product selection, these offerings provide a fully integrated hardware and software management solution. Each of these converged designs have their pros and cons. Attend our webinar to learn which one is the most appropriate for your data center. In this webinar we will also provide answers to four other questions you should be asking your potential converged solutions vendors:
- How is the converged system designed?
- How hard is it to manage?
- How does it scale?
- How does it protect data?