Converged architecture makes sense—some, but not all, of the time. It’s important for IT pros to determine whether and how the converged architecture model can be implemented in their organizations. Here are 10 questions to ask before taking the next step to converged architecture.
1. Do we have specific workloads in mind?
Converged architecture systems work most effectively when companies have a specific workload to run on them. If converged architecture sounds great in theory but you’re not sure what you would use it for, now might not be the time to pull the trigger.
2. Are we as agile as we need to be?
Customers hold all the cards these days, and companies must be able to immediately accommodate customer demand—or watch those customers go to the competition. Can you quickly spin capacity up and down to host new services and apps? Can you add capacity to support increased traffic and transactions? These are all good problems to have—if your infrastructure can handle them. Converged architecture makes it quick and east to deploy what you need, when you need it.
3. Is the number of servers we are dealing with growing exponentially?
Today’s IT pros are dealing with an increasing number of servers. Converged architecture systems help administrators take care of these systems by virtue of their consistent management tools, consistent hardware ecosystems and scalable frameworks.
4. How long do we expect our hardware to last?
In the last 10 years, the lifespan of server hardware has increased significantly. Indeed, the reason for replacing hardware is more about the inability to source parts and less about a system being underpowered for new workloads. Converged architecture’s modular nature means it’s easy to expand as workload requirements increase, and it’s simpler to replace components when/if they fail.
5. What are our storage needs—and could those needs change significantly moving forward?
Different vendors of converged architecture charge different prices for storage—and use different models for adding storage (for example, employing a leveled model). It’s important to have a good sense of what your—and your customers’—storage needs are in order to effectively engage with vendors in the storage provisioning process—and to choose the right vendor for your company’s needs in the first place.
6. Do we run into issues when it comes to figuring out how certain data center hardware and software work together?
You may have inherited a boatload of older technology, or maybe your IT “staff” consists of a couple of people who are in the roles because they know a little bit more about technology than anyone else in the company. With converged technology, the vendor is responsible for not only making sure that compute, storage and networking feature work together, but also that they work well together.
7. Are we getting that TMI feeling from your systems?
Too much information can be a bad thing when that information is delivered in different ways and at different times by different systems. Vendors of converged architecture systems should offer single-pane-of-glass management capabilities, enabling both IT and business staff to see—and understand—what is going on.
8. Is the term “vendor management” an oxymoron?
Anyone who’s been at IT for any length of time can see the value of “one throat to choke,” and the converged infrastructure model certainly reduces the number of hardware and software vendors you have to deal with.
9. Can we give up tinkering?
The beauty of converged architecture is that it comes to you locked and loaded. For IT pros who love to get their hands dirty with system configuration and tinkering over time, this is not a good thing. But for those who don’t want to, or can’t, perform that level of system configuration, it’s a godsend.
10. What else can/should I be working on?
IT plumbing should be just that—something you really need but don’t think about very often because it’s there and it works. That’s not to say that IT pros aren’t important. Just the opposite: Rather than spending time maintaining the IT pipes, technology pros need to be working with the business side of the house to figure out the best ways for technology to support existing initiatives and new ways for the business to leverage technology. Converged architecture obviates many of the tedious jobs IT pros have been responsible for, leaving them to figure out how their experience and skills can best benefit the business.
What questions would you add to this list? Please let us know in the comments section below.
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.