Converged Infrastructure

Why is Converged Infrastructure so popular?

Converged infrastructure is big business. The global market for “integrated systems” exceeded $10bn in 2016, with forecasters predicting accelerated growth over the next 5 years. Whilst this still seems small potatoes compared to the global private cloud market ($50bn+), research suggests converged infrastructure will continue to surf the wave of Cloud as organisations adopt it as a part of a broader Cloud strategy.

Although it is a relatively new concept, the growth of converged infrastructure over the past 3 years has paralleled the growth of Cloud adoption – for good reason. The concept of pre-validated and configured “blocks” of server, storage and networking capacity fits nicely with the scalability and flexibility that are the hallmarks of Cloud computing.

As the role of IT moves away from hardware distribution and maintenance towards service delivery, the standardisation of infrastructure components brings improvements in integration and management; freeing up resource to concentrate on quality of service. At the same time, consolidation and centralisation of infrastructure components provides IT with greater control over both service delivery and costs.

The re-focusing of IT as a service provider is aligned to the majority of IT spend originating elsewhere in the organisation. As a result, users are now measuring the success of IT against business objectives. .
According to IDC, the increased adoption of converged infrastructure comes as a result of three primary (and interconnected) drivers: the desire to improve IT service levels, data centre transformation and hybrid Cloud deployment.

Interestingly, the key drivers for, and the expected benefits of, convergence are not identical. Asked what they expect to be the key benefits of convergence, most organisations point to ease of management, economies of scale and greater agility.

Agile IT is very much the mode du jour, as the ability to respond rapidly to changing external influences, or internal business needs, is one of the key success factors for modern IT departments.
Success for any major transformation project is as much about the process of transformation as it is about the end result. Even the most tangible of benefits may be underappreciated if the journey was a painful one.

The ease with which any new infrastructure can be integrated with legacy equipment is always going to be a significant consideration. However, when it comes to integrating converged “bundles” there is the added dimension of how the converged components work with each other.

Whilst you might expect IT departments to opt for a single vendor solution to eliminate any potential conflicts, the reality is somewhat different. Two-thirds of converged infrastructure solutions actually feature multiple vendors.

This allows organisations to opt for best-in-class vendors across the technology stack and avoid vendor lock-in. However, IT will still be looking for assurances that the multi-vendor solutions will work seamlessly together.

The default setting for most transformation projects is to minimise or mitigate risk. This is another reason why converged infrastructure is proving popular. The standardisation of infrastructure components not only introduces a greater degree of predictability and economies of scale, it also reduces the risk associated with advanced deployments, such as Cloud.

To find out more about converged infrastructure and cloud services available from ONI, call us now on 01582 211530 or email getintouch@oni.co.uk.

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