Overcoming Key Data Center Challenges with Converged Infrastructure

Top concerns are security, centralizing resources, improving efficiency, and supporting cloud.

Bill Kleyman

January 25, 2017

4 Min Read
Overcoming Key Data Center Challenges with Converged Infrastructure

Sponsored by: Dell and Intel.

Converged systems are powerful platforms with their built-in automation, high-density architecture, and high-performance chassis. They enable organizations to architect a very robust cloud and storage environment with the goal of creating unparalleled density and allowing for resources to be delivered as effectively as possible. The big benefits behind converged infrastructure (CI) are huge driving factors around the adoption boom that we’re already experiencing. According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, the global revenue in this category grew 8.5% year over year to $3.1 billion during the fourth quarter of 2015 (4Q15). The market generated 1,547 petabytes of new storage capacity shipments during the quarter, an increase of 26.9% from the same time last year.

For the full year 2015, the revenue jumped 8.3% to $10.6 billion when compared to 2014.

"We are seeing some of the market demand move into deals with lower average selling prices (ASPs), which is driving a shift from traditional converged systems to hyperconverged systems," said Kevin M. Permenter, IDC’s senior research analyst, in a press statement. "Right now, most of the growth is coming from the mid-market, which is heavily skewed toward hyperconverged systems. We are expecting to see this trend continue into the near term."

To get the complete picture, add the findings of a recent Data Center Trends Survey sponsored by Dell EMC and Intel, which indicates some of the biggest challenges facing organizations as they into 2017. They include:

  • Security: 67%

  • Centralizing Resources and Improved Efficiency: 43%

  • Supporting Cloud: 40%

To overcome these challenges and concerns, converged infrastructure solutions aim to revolutionize the way organizations deploy data center solutions. In working with converged infrastructure (CI), it’s important to see exactly where this type of platform can help your business. Consider the following:

  • Ease of Deployment. Modern converged infrastructure systems are pre-validated environments deployed as building blocks into a data center. This means no more guessing or spending more than required on data center solutions. Furthermore, there is a direct reduction of risk in deployed validated designs. Today’s CI architectures allow organizations to size their workloads around specific validated converged infrastructure deployments. For example, you can size around big data, virtualization, VDI, databases, and even disaster recovery.

  • Disaster Recovery Strategies. A big challenge in creating a good DR strategy was the architecture of secondary systems. In working with converged infrastructure, you can size the right type of data center based on your specific SLA requirements. You can design a platform capable of handling 100% of the primary, or, as much as the business requires. The good part here is that direct integration with the management and virtualization layer allows for even easier failover capabilities. This allows organizations to plan their disaster recovery strategies and size them out appropriately. Furthermore, this will help organizations control costs when deploying DR strategy.

  • Improved Management. Traditionally, data center admins would rely on third party systems or other kinds of controls to manage a heterogenous infrastructure. Now, with CI, you have all core resources under one engine; and management is simplified dramatically. This means administrators have better ways to control how resources are allocated to virtual machines, how specific user groups can be optimized, and even where compliance and regulation-bound workloads are being housed. Furthermore, there is better integration with the underlying hypervisor via management plugins for even further control capabilities.

  • Using Converged Infrastructure to Improve Security. Your ability to segment traffic, virtual workloads, and entire network using CI is pretty powerful. The centralization of core resources creates fewer management points and simplifies the control of data. You can create powerful resource silos around pieces of data that can’t leave specific servers or even storage repositories. Or, you can enforce access policies around very specific network segments all living on the CI architecture. 

Converged infrastructure aims to simplify the way you manage critical resources, deliver key applications, and support an evolving user. To create powerful business benefits and strategic IT economics, it’s absolutely important to ensure that your deployment technology has a strong use-case. In the case of converged infrastructure – there are numerous ways that this platform can support growing business demands. This revolves around supporting new kinds of users, greater levels of virtualization, and even new technologies like containers. Most of all – a good CI deployment will give the business an easy way to scale and evolve with new market demands.

About the Author(s)

Bill Kleyman

Bill Kleyman has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise technology. He also enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues about tech. His published and referenced work can be found on Data Center Knowledge, AFCOM, ITPro Today, InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Forbes, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and more.

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