Successful implementations of converged technologies depend on choosing the right architecture to match different IT tasks.
For branch office deployments, distributed scale-out computing and other scenarios in corporate data centers, interest is rising in converged infrastructure (CI) and its siblings reference architectures, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) and appliances.
“Converged infrastructure is … going into larger environments with different lifecycles for servers, storage, network — all different lengths for depreciation schedules and upgrade paths,” said Camberley Bates, an analyst at Evaluator Group, an IT analyst firm.
For Tapad, a cross-screen content delivery specialist in New York City, converged infrastructure augments two-year-old standard rack servers in a distributed computing model.
“Converged infrastructure gave us a minimal fault domain, was cost-effective and let us go denser for power and cooling,” said Ryan Tennant, vice president of technical operations at Tapad.
Hyper-converged infrastructure has a “strong purpose” in the data center, Bates said. It enables flexible scaling and is often sized to take on entire branch offices, the IT duties of small or medium-sized businesses and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments.
Organizations need to know what they want before implementing converged, hyper-converged or appliance infrastructure.
In the same vein, hyper-converged infrastructure might offer the simple scaling that small businesses and branch offices rely on, but isn’t necessarily the best way to run a core enterprise data center for large companies, he added.
In such a new class of data center IT, growth is an important criterion for deployment. Early CI adopters are getting to the point where they need to refresh or increase capacity, the Evaluator Group’s Bates said. “It’s suddenly a million-dollar transaction.”
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