Converged Architecture: Data Center, Yes; Branch Office, No

Converged Architecture: Data Center, Yes; Branch Office, No

The key to understanding converged architecture is knowing which workloads are suitable for the technology—and which aren’t. Converged architecture is great for big workloads that are critical to your business—a SharePoint or Exchange deployment, for example, or the need to host a large number of virtual machines. With these kinds of big workloads, it is important that every drop of performance can be wrung out of your hardware.

Converged architecture is great when an organization has most of its IT hardware centrally deployed, such as in a data center, where these big workloads tend to run. Converged architecture is less appropriate for systems that run smaller workloads—such as a branch office file server, domain controller, DNS server or DHCP server sitting in a spare room in the basement that has been repurposed as a server room.

There are a few reasons for this, including:

  • Branch office workloads tend to have fairly static performance requirements. It’s unlikely that a branch office domain controller, DHCP server or DNS server will need to be upgraded unless the branch office itself undergoes radical changes. A big benefit of converged architecture is its expandability to meet increasing performance requirements.
  • Branch office workloads rarely have high performance requirements. Many branch offices have less than 50 people onsite, and their IT needs typically can be met by off-the-shelf hardware with an adequate performance profile.
  • It’s relatively easy to scale the elements of branch office servers that are likely to require expansion. For example, branch offices often need to increase file server requirements over time. Expanding the capacity of a file server generally involves adding a few more hard drives, as opposed to adding on special modules to increase other aspects of capacity.

All of this is not to say that converged architecture is never a fit for branch offices. Converged architecture can work for branch offices when organizations are consolidating their IT infrastructure—for example, bringing all the hardware sitting out at a remote location back to a central space. But for traditional workloads, such as the branch office file and print server, organizations are generally better off sticking with off-the-shelf solutions rather than a custom converged architecture solution.

Underwritten by HPE

Part of HPE’s Power of One strategy, HPE Converged Architecture 700 delivers infrastructure as one integrated stack. HPE Converged Architecture 700 delivers proven, repeatable building blocks of infrastructure maintained by one management platform (HPE OneView), built and delivered exclusively by qualified HPE Channel Partners. This methodology saves considerable time and resources, compared to the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach.

Based on a complete HPE stack consisting of HPE BladeSystem with Intel® Xeon® E5 v3-based HPE ProLiant BL460c Gen9 blades, HPE 3PAR StoreServ all-flash storage, HPE Networking, and HPE OneView infrastructure management software, the HPE Converged Architecture 700 can be easily modified to fit within your existing IT environment.

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