Converged infrastructure allows you to manage IT as a whole and not just the sum of its many parts. Explore this site to learn more.
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No doubt you’ve heard about CI before. It’s both a general industry term and also how one vendor (HP) labels its specific solution. Other vendors use similar labels: Cisco calls it “UCS” or “Unified Computing System; Dell calls it “Active Infrastructure"; IBM labels its CI architecture “PureSystems.” No matter the name, CI involves a common set of goals, components and benefits you should know about.
One question people always ask is, “What’s the difference between CI and cloud computing?” The simple answer is that each contains parts of the other, but they are not synonymous. Cloud, like CI, involves the distribution of computing resources across many workloads. However, cloud (especially public cloud) is typically focused on a large volume of generic workloads while CI usually deals with a self-contained ecosystem with narrower, more complex workloads.
Complicating matters is that CI comes in many forms bearing the “cloud” label. A fully self-contained infrastructure is an example of “private” cloud, whereas one that uses a mixture of self- and provider management is “hybrid” cloud. When scoping a solution, ask lots of questions about your options and what makes the most sense for your needs.
IT infrastructure—servers, storage and networking—is at the heart of how organizations run nearly every aspect of their operations. But many companies have struggled to make their infrastructure more efficient, agile, manageable and affordable. That’s where converged infrastructure comes in.
Converged infrastructure (CI) is an innovative way of looking at computing, storage and networking that addresses—but goes far beyond—traditional data center concerns such as performance and availability. CI uses the concept of modular architecture to allow IT organizations to easily, quickly, reliably and affordably install, upgrade and scale their operations to meet rapidly changing business requirements.
CI impacts many organizational functions across IT and the business, and different stakeholders have different needs. Senior business executives, IT management and technical staff all need to work together to help the organization take advantage of CI, playing on their respective strengths and experiences.
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CI is daunting when you look at it from 30,000 feet. Start by focusing on a single, commonplace application workload. Ask your vendor how CI can make that workload more efficient.
All approaches to infrastructure convergence include a central management system. Sometimes this layer is installed as standalone software; other times it’s available in an appliance that you or a provider manages.
Dig in to how each vendor on your short list helps you manage your infrastructure via cloud services. Ask how they approach both narrow and broad application needs, as well as single or mixed-vendor hardware/software environments.
Ensure high availability of applications, services and essential data
Easier integration of new technology without compatibility glitches
Manage mixed-vendor servers, storage, networking and application services centrally
Balance processing power, bandwidth and capacity planning across application workloads
Decrease hardware / software overhead
Outsource logical IT services while maintaining control over mission-critical workloads
Simplify end-to-end management
Impact of convergence on mobile platforms
How to deliver a flexible, scalable e-mail and collaboration system
Key building blocks for public, private and hybrid cloud software—defined
How to simplify IT environments, improve agility and increase scalability
Executive viewpoint on infrastructure convergence
Editorial guide from SearchCloudComputing.com
Focus on network virtualization and software-defined networking