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Converged infrastructure: Server, storage, network, all-in-one

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The future will be about the converged infrastructure (CI), which comes with pre-integrated storage, networking, and virtualization as a single platform

BANGALORE, INDIA: Handling multiple systems of storage, networking, server and virtualisation, with multiple in-house experts to configure such disparate systems that would otherwise sit in silos inside a data centre, will be a thing of past!

Is the future about CI?

The future will be about the converged infrastructure (CI), which comes with pre-integrated storage, networking, and virtualization as a single platform. It will also bring several benefits. First, the IT department would need not break heads on integrating, storage, network, servers and virtual machines as it is a consolidated box with these pre-configured systems/layers from various or single vendors. It also means less number of wires in a data centre, less space, single window of management for three or four layers, and in-built redundancy.

"The three infrastructure layers are capable of communicating to each other and have a single management console. Its design is modular, based on an open standard architecture," notes Sridhar S, director, Enterprise Solutions Business, Dell India.

Pertisth Mankotia, head, IT Sheela Foam (Sleepwell), points out: "It is very suitable, especially for disaster recover (DR) kind of scenario, where you will have to buy new storage, switches, cables, and servers, and configure them. With CI, you need not talk to five to six different vendors or think of integrating five different applications and hardware. You can just buy this pre-configured box, and plug-and-play. It saves a lot of money, time and labour. Since it comes with in-built redundancy, downtime is very less."

Arun Gupta, CIO, Cipla, who plans to evolve his data centre infrastructure into a converged solution over the next 12 months, believes that it will result in better management and efficiency.

N Raveendran, sr. general manager, enterprise wide solutions [Group CIO], Sakthi Finance/ABT Industries, says: "CI brings easy and effective manageability of IT resources. Deployment of all IT facilities can be managed and monitored in a centralized manner. The resources are shared, balanced and optimized."

Vendors betting big!

Given a choice, every chief information officer (CIO) would like to have a converged infrastructure. Major vendors such as HP, IBM, Dell, EMC, NetApp, etc., are betting big on this particular platform and have readied their own versions of CI.

"CI concept is gaing acceptance from the CIO community for two main reasons. First, because of the benefits it brings and second, for the need to overcome silos and bring convergence inside data centre. They also realise that CI is the beginning of their journey towards cloud," adds Sridhar.

Spending on CI is expected to be $17.8 billion in 2016. However, it is still not a huge trend among enterprises owing to various reasons.

 

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