Branded blog post from CIO.com discusses
The Future of Convergence Is Now: Are You Ready?
By Paul Desmond
IT leaders are facing a huge challenge: a pressing need to increase infrastructure agility in order to enable enterprise business agility, while maintaining high levels of service that mission-critical workloads demand – and of course doing it all with little or no budget increase.
I know what you’re thinking: just use public cloud services. That may work for many companies, smaller ones in particular. But enterprise organizations typically have highly specific requirements and goals to meet. Whether these goals will neatly match up with a cloud provider that is essentially providing the level of service to hundreds or thousands of customers is questionable, to say the least.
That’s why many enterprises are instead looking to converged infrastructure to provide many of the same benefits of cloud technology, but on the enterprise’s own terms. Converged systems combine storage, server, networking and software management in integrated, pretested packages designed for mission-critical workloads.
Converged platforms will be crucial to what IDC says is the 3rd computing platform. The first platform was mainframes, which eventually gave way to personal computers and client/server architectures – the 2nd platform, according to IDC. We’re now witnessing a migration to a 3rd platform, one built on four technology pillars: cloud, big data and analytics, mobility, and social business.
A crucial bridge
As we move to this third platform, IDC says businesses are changing in some fundamental ways, including the speed with which they deliver products and services, along with the need for improved reliability and overall resiliency of their IT environments.
Converged systems enable IT to address all of these changes. They provide the crucial bridge from the 2nd to the 3rd platform, delivering infrastructure services that enable IT pros to rapidly consolidate, virtualize, automate and scale IT and business processes – all while lowering costs. The result is enhanced operational and strategic agility: Processes that might have taken months in a traditional infrastructure or days in a virtualized environment can be completed in hours or minutes with an automated, converged platform. Consider application deployment. With traditional architectures, deploying a critical new application could easily take six months or more. With converged systems that time is routinely cut in half because all the components are already in place, from CPU to storage, and many software rollout processes are highly automated.
What’s more, converged systems can reduce costs in a number of ways. One of the biggest is operational costs because the converged infrastructure is managed as a whole, rather than as a collection of components – and again, with a high degree of automation for routine tasks.
The systems also reduce cost by increasing utilization rates. Virtualization has already enabled companies to greatly increase server utilization rates but converged infrastructure takes it a step further, increasing utilization of all components, from servers to storage and networks.
Converged infrastructure enables enterprises to build private clouds that deliver the same sort of agility benefits that public cloud technology brings, enabling companies to deliver on the concept of IT as a service. But enterprises can do it on their own terms, with configurations that meet their specific application, security and resiliency requirements.
If enterprises are going to be able to keep up with the onslaught of data that IDC says will be part of this 3rd platform, while at the same time improving resiliency and agility, they need to rethink their IT architectures. For many, converged infrastructure is likely to play a significant role.
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About this Blog: Hitachi Data Systems builds information management and Social Innovation solutions for enterprises. Hitachi’s IT infrastructure, analytics, content and cloud solutions and services enable enterprises to leverage their data assets to meet strategic business goals. The Hitachi Unified Compute Platform portfolio of converged infrastructure products helps enterprises manage increasingly complex and critical data center operations in a way that enhances flexibility, agility, efficiency, productivity and scalability. Learn more about Hitachi Unified Compute Platform here.