Four key benefits and ideals of infrastructure convergence

Convergence will be pervasive as an approach to drive greater agility and efficiency in the data center

This is the second blog in a series on Converged Infrastructure. Read the previous blog post here.

Today many organizations are missing deadliness or cannot respond fast enough to customer demands, have insufficient IT budgets to deliver against the most critical business initiatives, or have to manage tradeoffs when it comes to driving efficiency or performance. In response, convergence in the data center is a rising trend in IT to address the growing needs for agility, efficiency and quality to support application and IT services. Over time, convergence will be pervasive and touch every part of IT, including infrastructure, operations management, applications management and service management.

Converged infrastructure solutions combine servers, storage, networking and management into an integrated system to improve efficiency and agility within the data center. With converged infrastructure, IT can also better provide general purpose virtualized resource pools for applications and private clouds.

Four key benefits are commonly highlighted by those adopting solutions:

  • Lower the cost of running applications
  • Enable faster infrastructure deployments
  • Drive simplicity and speed of management
  • Speed time-to-value for application and cloud deployments

IT operations roadblocks

One of the key aspects of a converged infrastructure is how IT operations can be transformed. As we all know, IT infrastructure operations have always crossed domain boundaries across compute, storage and networking. However, server virtualization has amplified these interactions causing a variety of undesirable side effects including rising operational costs and slowed service delivery processes.

Here’s a visual reference:

DellCI - Mad Rush cartoon

What ultimately happens when problems occur in a highly siloed modern data center is that you have a mad rush of admins trying to be a hero to solve the problem. These admins often step over each other trying to perform various troubleshooting steps, and in some cases prevent other teams from being able to effectively analyze a
scenario. In rare instances, it's entirely possible for an admin to rush into something too quickly and do something foolish before a complete assessment of the problem can be realized. This fighting, tackling and running with scissors approach is quite inefficient when seconds count to the business consuming the infrastructure.

Effectively, current tools cannot comprehend the changing operational roles in IT, causing expensive and highly-qualified administrators to do mundane tasks all the while reducing responsiveness to the business due to cross-domain dependencies.

Enabling a simpler IT operational model

With converged management solutions, IT can better collapse and automate critical administrative tasks to speed up routine tasks and free up experts for higher order need. With fewer, more intuitive tools that enable a single administrator to perform more tasks, IT can reduce overhead and eliminate manual interactions through
jointly-defined policies.

To successfully gain efficiency and agility from converged infrastructure solutions, organizations should focus on four key things:

  • Simplify operations and amplify IT productivity by unifying and automating management without compromising domain-level control across physical & virtual infrastructure
  • Provide a complete & integrated infrastructure solution without tradeoffs by adopting holistic infrastructure innovations that integrate into your existing data center architectures
  • Improve reliability with better infrastructure & insights to ensure performance, availability & quality with pre-engineered design & more complete infrastructure visibility
  • Maximize value with pre-integrated solutions, or take a more tailored, DIY approach by leveraging flexible infrastructure delivery models that align to your specific need

Stay tuned for next week’s blog as we outline the state of converged infrastructure in the industry.

About the Author: Marc Stitt