Converged infrastructures combine the four components of a compute environment – a server, storage, networking and a virtualization platform – in a single system. The concept is to simplify the implementation of a compute environment and maintain that simplicity as the environment grows. In order to do this, most converged solutions scale-out, like scale-out storage systems do. But this can create some potential challenges.
When scale-out storage came into prominence, it was in response to the inefficiency of ‘scale-up’ architectures, which piled trays of disk drives behind a single (or redundant) storage controller. The problem was storage processing power. Most scale-up storage arrays ran short on performance before they ran out of capacity. The scale-out architecture addressed this by including storage processing power in each node, enabling the scale-out system to increase performance as it increased disk capacity.
But this meant adding processing power in lock-step with storage. Unfortunately, not all workloads require a fixed proportion of storage and CPU power as they grew, which resulted in wasted resources.
Fast forward to the converged infrastructure. Now, instead of each module containing storage and processing power, each module comes with networking and server virtualization software as well. This means that when the environment needs to grow, many converged solutions force you to increase everything. Where the scale-out storage system was often inefficient in one area (capacity or storage performance), the converged infrastructure solution can potentially waste multiple resources.
It’s important that the way in which a converged solution scales be well understood, otherwise businesses could end up increasing their total cost of ownership by paying for more resources up-front than they would otherwise need.
For more information on scaling converged infrastructures, please join us on Tuesday, October 21st at 1pm EST for the Storage Switzerland webinar, “Is Convergence Right For You? 4 Questions To Ask”.
By pre-registering for this webinar, we will send you an exclusive Storage Switzerland report, “Virtualization Made Simple With Hyperconverged Infrastructure”.