What Is Converged Infrastructure?

Converged Infrastructure combines several traditionally siloed IT components into a single optimized solution. By converging servers, data storage, networking equipment and software, Converged Infrastructure solutions provide a scalable and more cost efficient way to quickly deploy a more simplified IT infrastructure.

Characteristics of a Converged Infrastructure include:

  • End-to-End Virtualization—Compute, storage, network and I/O
  • Resilient—Improved availability using less infrastructure
  • Open—Choice, flexibility, and interoperable
  • Orchestrated—Automated arrangement, coordination, and management of complex computer systems, middleware, and services
  • Modular—Replace or add any one component (module) without affecting the rest of the compute solution

How Will Converged Infrastructure Solutions Benefit My Organization?

Converged Infrastructure platforms deliver quantifiable benefits to an organization, including:

  • Faster delivery of IT services to end-users
  • Increased agility and scalability
  • Flexible consumption models
  • Less fragmented resources
  • Improved security and control

How Can I Help My Organization Embrace Converged Infrastructure Solutions?

Convergence is a cultural change, not just a technical one. A few key guidelines will help you smooth the way:

  • Culturally enable transformation
    • Prioritize objectives
    • Empower architectural leadership to influence tactical activities
    • Create transparency into diverse aspects of existing infrastructure
    • Communicate lifecycle purchasing and convergence alignment
  • Transform Planning
    • Link capacity to demand instead of component-based estimations
    • Transition from task-by-task to assembly line automation

When moving toward a Converged Infrastructure solution, here are some important considerations:

  • Understand what is possible:
    • Technical
    • Cultural
    • Operational
  • Identify the demands for infrastructure in upcoming projects
  • Develop architectural roadmap that matches convergence plan

What Comprises A Converged Infrastructure Solution?

These solutions are completely integrated and sold as a completely integrated IT offering, but they are comprised of the following technologies:

  • Networking: Typically large modular core switches
  • Servers: Blade servers
  • Virtualization Software: Hypervisor and management software
  • Data Storage: Network attached storage

This unified approach to IT infrastructure heralds the convergence of network and compute layers, which simplifies data center manageability and improves flexibility and utilization. It also allows IT to focus more on delivering services to end users, and less on how to piece together disparate IT components and make them work together.