IT professionals are increasingly turning to converged architecture to host specific workloads. While this infrastructure integrates preconfigured components into systems for virtualization, cloud computing, big data, converged management and more, companies are benefiting from a streamlined way to manage resources, control users, and deliver content easily and more efficiently. In turn, the converged architecture market is becoming more specialized and better able to simplify management—and this will only continue as the market matures, according to Henry Baltazar, research director of storage for IT research firm 451 Research.
Baltazar is confident that simplicity is driving the converged architecture movement and will continue to be a big source of momentum going forward.
“Instead of buying the Legos and then building them, more companies have transitioned into buying the Legos already built,” says Baltazar, explaining that this comparison is a fair representation of the transition from traditional data centers to converged architecture.
The main incentive is that it’s much easier to buy the architecture and then rely on the resale partners to get integration up and running—and for today’s budget-strapped companies that don’t necessarily have the resources or the time to vet a slew of new technologies, this type of technology is key.
“In the old days, it was all about best-of-breed testing,” notes Baltazar. “Companies had much more time to find their ideal solutions, but, now, thanks to convergence, companies can order their architecture, have it deployed and then leave it to the resale partners to do the heavy lifting.”
The next stage in this disruption: hyperconvergence, in which IT administrators can have their server and storage systems integrated into one big rack, or unit. It’s all about scalable architecture, integrating server, storage and virtualization into one platform.
“When using storage within your servers, the advantages are pretty obvious: Would you buy two forklifts when you could buy just one that carries out the same functions? Of course not. Why buy two when you can do the same with just one?” says Baltazar.
Midsize companies, particularly those that don’t have storage expertise in-house, tend to be quite interested in hyperconvergence as a way to save time and money, says Baltazar. Larger companies that strive to remain at the forefront of leading technologies are also showing interest in hyperconvergence. However, this infrastructure is still in its beginning stages, and, as more vendors enter the arena, the environment continues to shift and evolve.
Regardless of differences among vendors, hyperconvergence aims to address similar core functions: accelerating the speed of deploying virtualized workloads while improving efficiency, simplifying management, reducing complexity and cutting costs, according to Baltazar. As companies identify these benefits, they are more likely to become interested in exploring hyperconverged architecture.
As the convergence architecture market matures, hyperconvergence will also gain more relevance, Baltazar says, and companies will reap the benefits of infrastructure that is more sophisticated yet easier than ever to manage—infrastructure that delivers unprecedented efficiency and simplicity within the same package.
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