Tasha Stone

CIO Blog: How the Right Converged Infrastructure Delivers Big IT Savings

Discussion created by Tasha Stone Employee on Oct 28, 2015

Branded blog post from CIO.com discusses:

How the Right Converged Infrastructure Delivers Big IT Savings




By Paul Desmond


For CIOs under increased pressure to rapidly deliver more services to maintain a competitive advantage for their businesses, overly complex infrastructure is the enemy. It can quickly drive up costs in a number of ways, from increased IT management costs to poor performance that saps productivity. 


That’s why many CIOs are turning to pre-engineered, converged infrastructure that consolidates servers, storage, networking and virtualized environments, and is pre-optimized for key applications. In addition to reducing the time to deploy, converged infrastructure provides increased automation, enabling IT to deliver new solutions faster and more economically. Following are a few examples of how converged infrastructure improves the economics of IT by delivering a sound return on investment, in a number of different ways. 

Lower bills, higher staff efficiency 


The ISP Hong Kong Broadband Network is replacing the majority of its physical servers and moving to virtual servers on a converged infrastructure. As a result, it was able to consolidate from 10 server racks to just two racks. Clearly such a reduction saves valuable data center space but it also delivered an immediate hard savings of 40 percent off of IT’s electric bill while greatly increasing the efficiency of its staff. 


Whereas previously one IT admin could manage 30 to 50 physical servers, now each one can handle 100 to 150 virtual servers on the converged infrastructure. The savings come in part from templates preconfigured for features such as high availability and disaster recovery capabilities – templates that come into play over and over as the firm rolls out new servers. As a result, the company was able to redistribute IT resources to support strategic initiative and critical projects. 

IT management made easy 


It’s a similar story at the hosting and cloud services provider CGI Group, according to this case study on the company. CGI found that implementing converged infrastructure enabled it to roll out resources for customers more rapidly. 


“The ability to move things around based on customer requirements and requests is significant. We can instantly swap out blades by just moving any free box over and pick up the workload without hiccup,” says Patrick Michael, CGI’s director of storage in the U.S. “We’ve literally gone from days to add new devices and capacity to the environment to hours. Deployment is nothing more than zoning some disk, plugging in some blade, and we’re done.” 


That’s the kind of productivity improvement and agility IT needs to see in order to keep up with business demands. 


For other companies, concerns over improving performance are driving the move to converged infrastructure. But the results likewise have a direct impact on IT economics and business performance. 

Faster response time 


SPAR Austria Group is in the retail business, with subsidiaries in food, sports and shopping centers. Retail, of course, is heavily data driven these days, and SPAR relies on an SAP data warehouse to drive business intelligence and decision-making. It recently migrated its SAP implementation to a converged infrastructure specifically designed for SAP’s high-performance HANA platform. 


As a result, users are experiencing dramatically improved response times in their search queries, so much so that the company expects its converged infrastructure investment will be paid off within 18 months. 


Perhaps more importantly, the company is now poised for new initiatives, such as a predictive analysis application to pinpoint trends and nuances in business markets. That promises to improve forecasting, enabling the company to ensure it has sufficient stock of the products customers want while preventing unnecessary over-stock and markdowns. Bad for bargain-hunters, but good for SPAR. 


Studious readers (meaning those who clicked on the company hyperlinks) will know I got all of these stories from a single vendor – Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) – which does a nice job of writing case studies to highlight successes with its Unified Compute Platform (UCP) family of converged infrastructure. 


“Pre-engineered converged systems with highly reliable elements, managed by an automation software and optimized for critical applications deliver the best value,” says Ravi Chalaka, VP, Worldwide Solutions and Social Innovation Marketing for HDS. “Anything else is just a reference architecture that provides limited benefits.” 


I’m sure there are plenty more success stories like these out there that all illustrate the same point: A well-built converged infrastructure does more than process and store data, it can save you money. And those savings come in both hard dollars (reduced electrical costs, improved space efficiency) and soft (increased productivity, business agility and advanced applications). It’s all good.

Click here to learn how the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform portfolio can create a more agile and flexible data center to help IT enable faster time to production, automate operations, and provide real-time business insights.

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.