Converged Infrastructure

Version 1

    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
    case'

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Downside:

     

     

    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
    individual needs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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:

     

     

    1. Quick to Deploy
    2. Quick Time to Market
    3. High Utilization
    4. Better Performance
    5. Automatic Provisioning
    6. Single Management Point
    7. No Human Error
    8. Highly Scalable
    9. Lowers Power Consumption
    10. Simple Architecture
    11. Frees up IT Resources
    12. Technical Validation
    13. 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: sandeepseeram@yahoo.com