Converged vs Hyperconverged Infrastructure

IT organizations are increasingly coming under pressure to deliver business application services with the same speed and agility as their public cloud counterparts. The bottom line is if IT can’t be responsive to the needs of the business, they may attempt to supplant internal IT with external providers. A situation that is probably not in the best interest to the organization as a whole and to IT specifically.

Leveling the IT Playing Field

Driving complexity out of managing and provisioning IT infrastructure is one way that IT organizations can level the playing field with professional service providers that are “preying” on their internal and/or external customers. One of the alleged advantages that cloud providers claim over internal IT is an architecture that allows for more rapid provisioning of applications. Using a legacy IT architecture requires too many dots to be connected in order to provision an application. Those “dots” include allocating the right amount of CPU, establishing the right network configuration and provisioning the right amount and type of storage. Converged infrastructure offerings can eliminate the long lead times for integrating and provisioning server compute, networking and storage resources and give IT a way to increase their service delivery agility.

Best-of-Breed Convergence

Some of the first converged infrastructure market offerings to hit the market several years ago were essentially an assembly of pre-integrated components from various “best-of-breed” industry vendors. So for example, the server and networking equipment might come from one supplier while the storage and virtualization software were provided by two different manufacturers. The principal value proposition in these solutions is that it gives infrastructure managers the ability to roll a rack of equipment off the loading dock and into the data center and within minutes after power up, start provisioning VMs.

While converged solutions help organizations bypass the integration and configuration steps required to deploy virtualized infrastructure, they often require administrators to use multiple interfaces to manage each converged resource. In addition, these offerings typically come at a premium price. After all, many of these solutions come from name brand suppliers.

Purpose-Built Virtual Infrastructure

Some of the current generation of converged infrastructure technologies are referred to as “hyperconverged” solutions. These offerings were designed to be fully self-contained units of server compute, networking, storage and virtualization software. So while converged systems consist of multiple components cabled together within a rack, hyperconverged resources are all pre-assembled within the same sheet metal enclosure. They are in-effect, “purpose-built” for implementing a complete virtualized infrastructure (compute, networking and storage). And consequently, managing these systems is often a lot simpler. Some hyperconverged offerings, for example, only require several mouse clicks to configure and deploy a VM.

To learn more about how affordable hyper converged storage solutions can make virtualized infrastructure management dramatically more simple, go to the following on-demand webinar, “Is Convergence Right For You? 4 Questions To Ask”.

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As a 22 year IT veteran, Colm has worked in a variety of capacities ranging from technical support of critical OLTP environments to consultative sales and marketing for system integrators and manufacturers. His focus in the enterprise storage, backup and disaster recovery solutions space extends from mainframe and distributed computing environments across a wide range of industries.

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