New IT service delivery methodologies are revolutionizing how IT departments function and how users access the applications that make businesses successful. Demands on IT have necessitated a change to on-demand services, self-service models, and increasing focus on time-to-value for IT projects.
Research firm Gartner agrees that the use of cloud computing is growing, and says that in 2016 this growth will increase to become the bulk of new IT spend.
“Overall, there are very real trends toward cloud platforms, and also toward massively scalable processing. Virtualization, service orientation and the internet have converged to sponsor a phenomenon that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they'll acquire or deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models,” said Chris Howard, research vice president at Gartner. “Services delivered through the cloud will foster an economy based on delivery and consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction management.”
With all of this in mind, it’s no wonder that new types of data center models have directly impacted growth in virtualization technologies – specifically application delivery and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). In fact, we’ve been seeing a steady increase in spending when it comes to converged systems. More industries and verticals are redesigning their data center to better support efficiency, scalability, and improved user productivity. According to IDC, during the fourth quarter of 2015, the Integrated Systems (CI) market generated more than $2.0 billion in revenue, a year-over-year increase of 6.7%. These systems are pre-integrated and vendor-certified, containing server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment, and basic element/systems management software.
A recent Dell EMC | Intel Data Center Trends Survey points out that one if five respondents have deployed a converged infrastructure (CI) solution. An additional 25% plan on doing so over the next 12 months. Their top two business drivers are:
- Improve density for virtualization – 58% of respondents
- Enable a virtualization initiative (VDI, applications) – 53% of respondents.
In this context, converged infrastructure can be a perfect use-case for virtualization, application delivery, and VDI:
- CI Creates Next-Generation Density. Intelligent converged infrastructure solutions allow you to create greater levels of density while deploying fewer pieces of hardware. Not only are you creating better multi-tenant ecosystems with converged solutions, you’re also doing this very cost effectively. Remember, convergence and consolidation also help save on data center real estate, cooling and power consumption, and even management costs. Most of all, consolidation can also help with density. Converged systems help you remove legacy data center components while still catering to a digital user. This means more apps, more virtual desktops, and more capabilities around mobility. There are numerous benefits to the user, the business, and the data center when converged infrastructure helps consolidate critical technologies.
- Optimizing User Experiences and Controlling Critical Resources. There’s been a major resurgence behind a number of virtualization technologies, including VDI, application delivery, and user management. Because of this, resource management has been a critical initiative for a number of organizations. The challenge revolves around resources that are isolated, hard to get to, or not properly utilized. This is where converged infrastructure comes in. Remember, this spans logical and physical deployments of convergence. Converged infrastructure solutions act as central points for resource control; it’s as simple as that. Data center and cloud administrators have fewer management points and greater levels of control over their critical (and expensive) resources. Moving forward, there will be more virtual technologies and even more integration with cloud.
- Changing Business and Data Center Economics. You’re not just deploying a new piece of technology into your data center. You’re deploying a business tool designed to help the organization grow and introduce more efficiency. Converged infrastructure is a means to replace old hardware, consolidate resources, and reduce the entire data center footprint. Many pushes into the cloud require better economics to support more users and applications. Older server, network, and compute technologies – sitting fragmented – could never achieve the level of scale that converged infrastructure can provide. So, by reducing data center footprints with convergence, we’re not only unifying critical resources, we’re also potentially reducing operating costs.
Moving forward, organizations will continue to create greater levels of efficiency for their critical data center systems. This means deploying architecture that can support new business initiatives, while still empowering users to be extremely productive. Many organizations (across many verticals and industries) are looking to CI as a way to revolutionize their data center architecture. If you’re working with virtualization today, look to converged infrastructure systems to help you align with your business and future market demands.