DevOps is a new trend in IT today, and with good reason. Composable infrastructure was designed using many of the same principles as the DevOps movement, and as such is well aligned to be the infrastructure of choice for DevOps activities.
Wikipedia defines DevOps as “a culture, movement or practice that emphasizes the collaboration and communication of both software developers and other information-technology (IT) professionals while automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes. It aims at establishing a culture and environment where building, testing, and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently, and more reliably.”
Likewise, composable infrastructure is designed to enable better collaboration and communication between IT equipment and the professionals who manage it, together with the other personas across the data center. Included in these personas are software developers, especially those in a DevOps environment.
I define composable infrastructure to include a unified API, which enables programmability, or infrastructure as code. Through the combination of the unified API and software-defined templates, developers and IT can collaborate in a more automated manner. Historically, developers would need to make a request to stand up IT infrastructure for an application. In more recent years, cloud-based technology has enabled this to be automated through a self-service portal. Composable infrastructure takes this a step further by allowing the infrastructure request to be made as code. This means developers can simply request the infrastructure they need for their application though writing a little code--the same thing they already do for a living! In other words, the hardware appears to them as software. The infrastructure then becomes available in a matter of minutes.
At the same time, IT can control precisely how the requested infrastructure is actually composed. IT can create software-defined templates that specify the compute, storage and networking requirements. In this way, IT can create a policy on how infrastructure is to be consumed by the application developer team.
We at HPE think the ability to collaborate and automate is critical to the future of the datacenter, and HPE continues to invest to enable this reality. To learn more about evaluating how well HPE and other vendors deliver on their promises of composability, read: A composable infrastructure Bill of Rights.
Gary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Engineer within the Converged Datacenter Infrastructure business at HPE. He is responsible for the technical and architectural directions of converged datacenter products and technologies including HPE Synergy.