As we move into a modern-day storage environment, it is critical businesses’ infrastructure follows suit. Combining computing, networking and storage hardware into a single integrated architecture, converged infrastructures are today considered a means to accelerate implementation and availability of data-centric structures within businesses. They also reduce IT costs and decrease implementation risk.
And, the rapid growth in the adoption of converged infrastructure (CI) is undeniable. Surveying IT professionals, ESG found almost 90% of respondents already use or plan to adopt systems of convergent infrastructure technology solutions in their environments. Its benefits, both technical and financial, are driving the adoption boom for businesses. In fact, Gartner expects it to be the fastest growing segment of the global integrated systems market, reaching almost $5 billion in 2019.
Organisations need to accelerate implementation and increase the availability of infrastructure, which are both possible with converged infrastructures. While it has significantly simplified the implementation of computation, unfortunately, most converged infrastructure solutions rely on bulky, complex and slow disk storage systems. These systems simply cannot be maintained in a modern data centre environment.
While a great architecture and a comprehensive validation process are a good place to start, more is needed. The fact is that the converged infrastructure must also provide a simpler and lower cost of the ownership experience. This is to allow IT departments to change their focus and maximise the time they have. Instead of concentrating on buying and integrating products from individual suppliers, they can focus more on the workloads that bring commercial benefits and a competitive advantage to the entire business.
With many organisations’ attention having turned to the cloud and the delivery of services, the result is the creation of the new generation of convergent architecture. These are smarter, simpler, smaller and much more efficient solutions that rely on newer technologies and have direct integration with virtualisation and cloud solutions. This architecture also benefits a range of organisations. Everyone from global services that provide historical and real-time information to businesses, to health institutions that provide excellent patient care through faster access to their records and images.
The four main benefits of this new generation of converged infrastructure solutions are:
- Maximise business results
Studies have shown that reduced latency in applications has a correlation with user satisfaction and commitment. So if you want happy customers to buy more goods and services, increase employee productivity or gain greater insight into your data, then you need to reduce latency. A high-performance infrastructure that combines a powerful primary block for cloud-based, virtualised, and general-purpose datacentres, along with 100% flash equipment, reduces latency and delivers powerful metrics around workload performance.
- Scale the cloud
How many of your CIO’s initiatives for this year are destined to run on a virtual infrastructure? It is a safe bet to say it will be more than half. Having a number of “too-demanding” applications to be virtualised without the proper architecture can keep the IT department focusing too much time and resources on the wrong things. However, with adequate tools, including powerful servers with service profiles, together with stateless storage, you can configure how, where and when workload instances are implemented.
Stateless technologies allow administrators to configure MAC, World Wide Name (WWN), unique universal identification (UUID), boot details, firmware and even basic input/output system (BIOS) settings in the software, through simple administration interfaces. It also allows the creation of the most agile convergent infrastructure in the industry. Above all, it is important to see how agility translates directly into scalability.
- Simplify IT operations
Storage has been the curse of virtual infrastructures. In reality, there has been very little innovation in storage in the last 20 years. Most have been very tactical with the implementation of silos focused on solutions. However, how many solutions do you have to adapt to address VDI, OLTP databases, Big Data analysis or improve the core of the VMware cloud? The use of a converged infrastructure architecture reduces the total number of managed devices, simplifies administration and reduces operating expenses (OpEx). In addition, a validated and verified solution architecture results in many use cases, which facilitates the implementation and reduces the risks when transforming datacentres.
- Reinvent the IT budget
The high rates of data reduction and the small size of 100% flash equipment combined with efficient servers translate into substantial savings in space and energy cost, enormous simplification, easier administration and improved data centre economy. In addition, solutions such as FlashStack from Pure Storage and Cisco are easily updated, so customers can add exactly the storage and/or computing capacity they need, as requirements change. Customers can buy components that meet current needs, without having to buy equipment years in advance to support hypothetical future growth.
While datacentres have grown significantly in terms of space and complexity in recent times, this hasn’t necessarily translated into growth in scalability or performance. As businesses focus on ensuring systems are operating as they should, the time spent on innovation has fallen down the priority list.
However, to remain leaders in their markets it is critical for businesses to deploy a solid IT infrastructure as in today’s digital age these infrastructures act as the critical strategic partner needed for helping business transformation. Therefore, it is imperative to adopt solutions that combine 100% flash storage with online data reduction and powerfully scalable network and server technologies so businesses don’t fall behind.
Doing this enables 100% flash workload delivery to be affordable, powerful and most importantly successful. This is what will set businesses aside from the competition. As the number of businesses investing and migrating to a converged infrastructure increases, the benefits are demonstrated further and it won’t be long until it is the norm for businesses. So what’s stopping you?