Much headway has been made throughout the data center
industry to circumvent the traditional 'vendor lock-in' associated with
hardware systems in the past few years. The move towards open source in the
hardware space has opened up a wealth of possibilities not only to small
vendors competing in the market but also to their customer base. There is,
however a potential threat to this open approach.
Converged Infrastructure (CI) bundles multiple IT components
into a single solution, including servers, data storage, networking equipment
and software. This doesn't seem to be a particularly new concept – other
industries have taken this approach for years with their own product offerings.
Historically, however, IT resources have been siloed – resources deployed to
deal with a particular job/application in isolation.
CI appears, on the face of it, to bring a measure of order
into what can often be chaotic system leading to wasted resources, a lack of
flexibility and unnecessary operational expenses.
This should be a good thing right? Well yes or no.
Benefits of Converged Infrastructure:
Converged Infrastructure is about delivering better
performance with less cost and less complexity “by streamlining and optimizing
IT resources customers are able to do more with less”
For example, the core components in a CI system are
technically validated, standardized and may be pre-integrated. As hardware is
pre-integrated with virtualization and automation tools, CI is less complex
than traditional deployment and scalability is achieved by pooling IT resources
and automating provisioning – so no need to invest in excess capacity 'just in
So CI is a cost effective, scalable solution that ultimately
saves money and enables a company to better manage operational costs. Perfect,
just what the industry has been looking for. But there are several downsides –
and some industry players are of the opinion that these negatives can outweigh
the benefits of CI.
Although a main selling point for CI is its cost benefits
there are likely to be significant costs associated with initial CI deployment,
planning, design, management and maintenance services all add to a cost an for
single stack solutions that are not pre-integrated. The time needed to deploy
and integrate can be significant and shouldn't be underestimated.
In addition, for certain customers, a CI system may actually
end up being more expensive and less flexible than standard architectures,
especially those companies at the lower end of the market. An when it comes to
support, the sheer number of vendors involved in a project designed to decrease
the complexity may also lead to problems.
The biggest concern though is that with a single stack CI
approach, the enterprise is essentially back to being locked in to a particular
vendor. The customer loses its choice in terms of the components deployed,
regardless of whether they are actually the best for the particular situation.
This removes the ability to choose the best solution for the customers
One Source likened CI to an Oven – an Oven can be used for
many things including boiling water and toasting bread, although very few
people will ever use it in this way, preferring the efficiency and ease of a
kettle and a toaster. In other words, although a single approach may sound good
it doesn't always make the best or most efficient solution.
Benefits of Converged Infrastructure:
- Quick to Deploy
- Quick Time to Market
- High Utilization
- Better Performance
- Automatic Provisioning
- Single Management Point
- No Human Error
- Highly Scalable
- Lowers Power Consumption
- Simple Architecture
- Frees up IT Resources
- Technical Validation
- Lowers Operational Costs
Report compiled and presented by:
Sandeep Kumar Seeram, Infrastructure Principal Consultant
Member No: 80344355 for International Association of Computer Science and
Information Technology (IACSIT) 9 Jurong Town Hall Road iHUB Singapore 609431
For further details on this report, contact: email@example.com