CI and disaggregated server tech can converge after all

An IT industry analyst article published by SearchDataCenter.

I’ve talked about the inevitability of infrastructure convergence, so it might seem like I’m doing a complete 180 degree turn by introducing the opposite trend of infrastructure: aggregation. Despite appearances, disaggregated server technology isn’t really the opposite of convergence. In fact, disaggregated and converged servers work together.

In this new trend, physical IT components come in larger and denser pools for maximum cost efficiency. At the same time, compute-intensive functionality, such as data protection, that was once tightly integrated with the hardware is pulled out and hosted separately to optimize performance and use cheaper components.

Consider today’s cloud architects building hyper-scale infrastructures; instead of buying monolithic building blocks, they choose to pool massive amounts of dense commodity resources.

…(read the complete as-published article there)

Assimilate converged IT infrastructure into the data center

An IT industry analyst article published by SearchDataCenter.

I feel like the Borg from Star Trek when I proclaim that “IT convergence is inevitable.”

Converged IT infrastructure, the tight vendor integration of multiple IT resources like servers and storage, is a good thing, a mark of forward progress. And resistance to convergence is futile. It is a great way to simplify and automate the complexities between two (or more) maturing domains and drive cost-efficiencies, reliability improvements, and agility. As the operations and management issues for any set of resources becomes well understood, new solutions will naturally evolve that internally converge them into a more unified integrated single resource. Converged solutions are faster to deploy, simpler to manage, and easier for vendors to support.

Some resistance to converge does happen within some IT organizations. Siloed staff might suffer — convergence threatens domain subject matter experts by embedding their fiefdoms inside larger realms. That’s not the first time that has happened, and there is always room for experts to dive deep under the covers to work through levels of complexity when things inevitably go wrong. That makes for more impactful and satisfying jobs. And let’s be honest — converged IT is far less threatening than the public cloud.

…(read the complete as-published article there)

Converged Infrastructure, or ‘Where Did All the Silos Go?’

An IT industry analyst article published by Virtualization Review.

Quite a few companies are mashing up server, storage, networking and even the hypervisor into turnkey solutions that can scale up or down as data center needs dictate.

article_converged-infrastructureOnce upon a time as IT shops grew and matured, infrastructure subgroups would form to focus on complex domain-specific technologies. Servers, storage and networking all required deep subject matter expertise and a single-minded focus to keep up with the varying intricacies of implementation, operations and management. In large enterprises, fully staffed silos working in concert could leverage mountains of technology to great effect. But inevitably, turf battles, budget tightening and the fact that smaller organizations might not reach critical mass can make the silo approach costly and inefficient.

Virtualization solutions at first helped the silo model by abstracting the user of idealized IT from its physical implementation. Increasingly independent silos of underlying infrastructure could then be designed and managed very differently, and hopefully optimally, from what the end client sees. And in fact, virtualization became its own new IT domain, adding yet another layer of IT silo complexity.

But here at Taneja Group, we’ve noted several trends that are coming together to break down the traditional IT silo model. The virtual admin originally in charge of the hypervisor and server cluster is now on the verge of subsuming storage and networking too. New generations of “software defined” and cloud-provisionable technologies enable virtual admins to dynamically allocate increasingly enterprise-class resources to clients. And on the infrastructure side, converged infrastructure solutions make the physical implementation as simple as snapping Lego-like building blocks together.

For a while there have been bundled solutions that pre-package infrastructure into nice racks. Buying IT in pallets can be attractive in many growth or transformation scenarios, but at the end of the day they are still composed of racks of traditional enterprise infrastructure. In most cases, these solutions are adopted by customers that probably have the silo expertise to build their own, but are looking for a cost-effective shortcut.

What we are really excited about are the new “hyper-converged” infrastructure solutions that are designed from the ground up as scale-out units of IT. Server, storage, networking, and even the hypervisor may have been integrated as a single racked unit. Deployment and growth are simply handled by racking and stacking more identical (or similar as needed) units. They plug together and re-pool storage, cluster the servers and share key resources like flash. IT no longer needs deep silo staffing to deploy and operate enterprise quality solutions.

…(read the complete as-published article there)