The first rule of converged systems is that you shouldn’t talk about converged systems—unless you have a specific workload in mind. Indeed, one of the key concepts to understand when it comes to converged systems is that they aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, they should be used for specific workloads.
To fully leverage converged systems, it’s really important to think in terms of your organization’s specific needs. You don’t buy a bunch of converged systems and then run a laundry list of workloads on each one; you buy a converged system to host a specific workload.
For example, if you’ve virtualized workloads, it might make sense to purchase a converged system to host virtualized workloads. However, even in a case like this, different virtualized applications have different performance profiles. A converged system virtualization host that excels at hosting one type of virtualized workload may not be the best choice for another type of virtualized workload.
It might be helpful to think of converged systems as specialists rather than generalists. If your organization needs generalist systems that can serve in a variety of roles during the course of their lifetimes, then you’re probably better off avoiding the converged system route. What you need is general hardware with good performance specs across the board. These systems may not run specific workloads as efficiently as possible, but they will run all the workloads that you deploy to them.
On the other hand, if your organization determines that it would be best to dedicate a specific server to a specific workload--from the server’s deployment to its retirement--then a converged system makes sense. The converged system can be optimized to meet the needs of that particular workload, and, compared with other systems at the same price point, it will run that workload far more efficiently because it’s doing what it was designed to do (and only what it was designed to do).
What workloads would make sense on a dedicated converged system at your organization? We welcome your insight and questions.