What is Converged Infrastructure? Converged infrastructure groups multiple IT components as a single and optimized computing package. Converged infrastructure has both commercial and technical efficiency. We have various IT components such as servers, data storage, networking devices, and software for infrastructure management, automation, and orchestration. Converged infrastructures combines these into a single framework, help to build infrastructures which are cloud-ready. Indirectly, we are actually using basic form of such some services from different web hosts like Rackspace managed services.
What is Converged Infrastructure in Plain English?
Across the globe, there is rising demand of lowering of costs, IT simplification, business acceleration and risk minimization. This converged infrastructure is a common platform where all the components of data center including storage, servers, networking, software and services are present. Converged infrastructure (CI) is an approach to data center management that seeks to minimize compatibility issues between servers, storage systems and network devices while also reducing costs for cabling, cooling, power and floor space. A converged infrastructure can be implemented with a CI reference architecture, with standalone appliances or with a software driven hyper-converged approach.
With a CI reference architecture approach to converged infrastructure, the vendor provides the customer with pre-tested recommendations for how best to use hardware components in the data center to meet requirements for specific workloads.
For example, VCE sells a virtual server farm in a box. if you order from them you get your network your compute and your storage all together with a VMware hypervisor so you can start deploying almost immediately.
With an IT appliance approach to CI, the vendor provides the customer with a single box that houses tightly integrated compute, storage, networking virtualization resources from the vendor and perhaps the vendor’s partners. Should the need arise, additional appliances can be purchased and added, a concept known as horizontal scalability.
With a hyper-converged approach, the vendor abstracts compute, networking and storage resources from the physical hardware, bundling virtualization software with their CI offerings. Hyper-converged vendors may also provide additional functionality for cloud bursting or disaster recovery and allow administrators to manage both physical and virtual infrastructures — whether on-site or in the cloud – in a federated manner with a single pane of glass.
The advantage of hyperconvereged systems is in terms of improved performance and manageability, low TCO and faster ROI, agility and scalability due to which they are fast becoming a technology of choice for building enterprise clouds.
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 and for single-stack solutions that are not pre-integrated.
As the CI market continues to grow, the terms converged and hyper-converged are often used by marketers as synonyms and distinctions between the ways converged infrastructure can be implemented have become blurred. It is important, therefore, that customers who wish to embrace a converged infrastructure design ask the vendors they are working with to explain exactly how they define “converged” or “hyper-converged” so the customer understands whether or not the vendor’s product allows servers, storage systems and network devices to be separated back into discrete components.
The low cost of acquisition, operations and maintenance coupled with Cloud computing characteristics like on demand provisioning, elasticity, broad network access, resource pooling and metered service makes hyperconvereged infrastructure a promising technology which could be the future of IT infrastructure. The converged infrastructure solutions are undergoing a significant demand in the market in order to meet the need for cloud, mobility as well as big data by various enterprises. Owing to these factors the global converged infrastructure market is expected to surge at a CAGR of 22.4% between 2017 and 2025.